Gotham 360 Attends Greenbuild 2017
The Gotham 360 team attended Greenbuild 2017 in Boston. Each year, Greenbuild brings together experts from all facets of sustainable buildings (and parking lots too!) for several days full of education sessions and an enormous expo hall.
Having several of our core staff at the conference meant that the team could split up and cover the various concurrent education sessions that were relevant to our clients within different industries - who hold different goals and face different roadblocks.
One noteworthy panel discussed the EPA's Energy Star Tenant Spaces program, which is still piloting with its charter tenants but is planned to open to the full market in 2018. In general, building owners can only work to a certain extent on their end to construct (or retrofit) an energy-efficient building because any effort may simply go to waste if their tenants are energy hogs. Charter tenants of Energy Star Tenant Spaces span 140 spaces in 25 states and are test-driving high level sustainability standards for leased spaces. We look forward to seeing what the program shapes up to look like when it opens to the full market next year, and, in general, we strongly support the increased focused on tenant behavior in leased spaces.
Another exciting announcement was the first public peek into WELL v2. If you haven't yet heard of it, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and well-being in buildings and communities across the world through its WELL Building Standard (WELL). WELL was developed by integrating scientific and medical research and literature on environmental health, behavioral factors, health outcomes and demographic risk factors that affect health with leading practices in building design and management. WELL also references existing standards and best practice guidelines set by governmental and professional organizations. Sustainability encompasses more than a purely material focus on building construction and management, and occupants’ mental and physical health is deeply tied to their built environment.
An underlying theme among everything discussed during Greenbuild 2017 was accounting for climate change when addressing Sustainability. An extremely energy-efficiency building means nothing if it is built below the floodplain. Rising sea levels and stronger storms threaten major cities around the United States and the world; but with people working on the problem such as those who we met at Greenbuild 2017, we have hope for the future!
New technology and innovative techniques are quickly and constantly changing the spheres of energy management and sustainability within our built environment. For this reason, the Gotham 360 team finds it incredibly helpful, if not necessary, to connect with our colleagues, partners (present and future), and other experts at conferences such as Greenbuild - in order to best work towards a more sustainable future in our own New York City and beyond.