Gotham 360 Attends 2017 Urban Green Conference

Each year, Urban Green Council's annual conference tackles an issue or trend relevant to urban professionals in the green building sector. On Wednesday, October 4, the Gotham 360 team was happily present for the lively discussion on this year's theme: It's Electrifying!
The day started out with a panel focused on electrifying the building industry, in addition to all of the challenges that come with this goal. NYC has a goal of electrifying systems to reduce fossil fuel use in buildings, but the speakers on

Wednesday morning were clear in pointing out the issue that the NYC grid has a long way to go before it is 'green.'

Electrification alone will not accomplish citywide carbon emission reduction goals. Electrification must come in tandem with the construction of renewable and clean generation (within close proximity to the city). Offshore wind off of Long Island is a major potential resource to tap into in order to clean up the grid in NYC, and we learned about how NYSERDA is actively pursuing such development.

The second session of the morning was centered on transforming building technologies. Industry professionals gave presentations on innovative and important technology for making NYC buildings more energy efficient. These presentations, of course, also pointed out the challenges we face in retrofitting. Right now, mechanical systems are a common and effective centerpiece of a building retrofit to increase efficiency. But we must figure out how to dive into the more challenging issue of building envelope retrofits.

Questions from the audience added new elements to each session, and the speakers ended up touching upon everything from cybersecurity concerns of the Smart Grid to the benefits of switching from fuel oil to air source heat pumps.

To bring so many stakeholders - architects, building developers, consultants, policy-makers, the utility, and more - to discuss, debate, and learn together is an incredibly important exercise for reaching citywide climate goals. The Gotham 360 team is excited to bring everything we learn back to our clients to assist in their own efficiency and resiliency goals.

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