Last Night at the EBies
One of New York’s own took home the green renovation innovation award at the EBies (for existing buildings), Urban Green Council’s annual awards, held last night at Hard Rock. We snapped PS41 principal Kelly Shannon and award winner Vicki Sando, who spent six and a half years converting The Greenwich Village School’s roof into a 15k SF modular tray garden and learning center for farm-to-table agriculture, green building tech, and wildlife conservation. In '07, the School Construction Authority provided Vicky and Kelly an 11-page document on green roofs, 10 pages of which, Vicki says, were devoted to why not to do it. They proceeded anyway, and the SCA has come full circle, too. (The only problem is that once you get an award for the roof garden, it's hard to trick freshmen that there's a rooftop pool.)
We also snapped Jean Savitsky of JLL’s New York office and Bob Best of its Chicago HQs, along with Urban Green Council executive director Russell Unger. Jean worked with Bob on a Miami project for which Bob was nominated for best lighting retrofit, replacing the halide lights that covered Miami Tower with LED lights, a similar system to that recently installed on the Empire State Building. The project reduces the Miami building's lighting costs by $300k/year and will pay for itself in fewer than four years.
Steven Winter Associates’ Ryan Merkin was nominated for the energy savings award for the renovation of Omni New York LLC's renovation of the 274-unit Twin Parks apartments in the Bronx. He oversaw a retrofit of the 369k SF building while it was 100% occupied, including electric heat conversion, system upgrades, an energy management system, a core redo, envelope work, double-pane windows, and aesthetic renovations to the units.
Urban Green Council is the NY chapter of the US Green Building Council, whose Judith Webb traveled from DC to NY for the awards. We snapped her with BuildingGreen president Nadav Malin. Judith tells us the US houses 5.6 million existing buildings, almost every one a candidate for energy, water, and money savings. EBie nominees hailed from six states and account for 14M SF of improved properties that have saved 30 million gallons of water and as much energy as 1.7 million Americans use each year. Imagine the impact, she says, if 1,000 or 100,000 existing buildings put in modular green roofs, exchanged their exterior halide lights for LEDs, or installed low-flow toilets or solar.