Green Building: the Next Steps
December 19th, 2007

New high-performing and environmentally sensitive skyscrapers increasingly grace the New York City skyline. But for the city to truly benefit from the energy savings, health benefits and reduction in carbon emissions from green buildings, the next step will be to retrofit existing buildings and build cleaner power plants, said a panel of experts organized by the the Green Building Council of New York on Monday evening.

Developers are increasingly aware of the economic benefits from building green, but retrofitting buildings to meet industry standards for green buildings doesn’t yet make economic sense for them, said William Rudin, president of Rudin Management. “How do we get to the point where small, medium and large sized businesses do the right thing? I don’t have the answer,” he wondered out loud.

But Ashok Gupta, an energy economist from the NRDC, countered that when one flips the question to ask whether it makes sense for tenants and the city as a whole, it changes the whole equation. This will decide, he said, how much government money goes into energy efficiency programs.

Shifting the discussion, Rudin pointed out that while everybody talks about buildings’ effect on the environment, it is the power plants providing energy for them that are the root cause of most of the pollution. He called for the construction of new, efficient power plants and Gupta agreed.

But Ed Ott, a labor leader who heads the NYC Apollo Alliance, a coalition designed to link labor and environmental issues, noted that power plants are historically imposed on low-income neighborhoods. To gain the support of the working class, he said, new plants would need to be equally spread throughout the city. “If we are going to have an energy efficient society, we are going to have to share the burdens,” he declared.

By on December 19, 2007, 8:14 am
In category: Economy,Environment,Health,Land Use | 3 Comments »

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3 Responses to “Green Building: the Next Steps”

  1. More Tenants for 7 WTC, Columbia LEED-ND Plan Approved, & NYC Green Homes | greenbuildingsNYC Says:
    December 23rd, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    […] of experts share thoughts on green building in New York City at event organized by USGBC-NY SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: […]

  2. brand Says:
    January 11th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    first of all the entire building sector is asleep at the wheel including the nahb and commercial builders. as the green expert contacted the nahb more than 7 yrs ago
    green building is the future. what did the nahb do?build over 7 million homes which fall in value every day and pollute the environment.
    as for the commercial builders these idiots are asleep at the wheel and have been for more than 10 yrs.using the trizic system
    of course developed outside america environmetal is the next phase as implemeted by toyota.
    it does not take a genius to understand the second highest expense after the mortgage
    is the operating expense.this is why all builders are loosers. and why reits are dumping assets that are non green. these assets fall in value everday and will soon be worthless.
    and america is now longer a world leader under appointed prez bush as all financial
    resources are pissed away in iraq.
    uae and korea is leading green building not the usa and this will be just one of bushes failed legacies…
    developers are not aware of green building
    benefits otherwise all buildings would be build green…got it?

  3. Gotham Gazette - The Wonkster » Blog Archive » Existing Homes: the Frontline of Global Warming Says:
    February 5th, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    […] on the consensus that existing homes present the biggest hurdle in reducing carbon emissions in the city, the Sallan Foundation, an environmental organization, looks to contractors’ role […]

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