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Josh Goldworm, Jay Black, and Steven Friedlander at the NY Bar Association on Aug. 21, 2012
At last week's Bisnow NY Sustainability Summit, SL Green sustainability head Jay Black (flanked by ConEdison Solutions' Josh Goldworm and Innu-Science's Steven Friedlander) said the industry is starting to view green regulations not just as rules but as thought-provoking prompts: "What else can we do to be better?" (Mom always said, "I don't want to have to tell you to do chores. I want you to ask what you can do.") Similarly, benchmarking provides not just a number but next steps, he says.
Patty Connolly at the NY Bar Association on Aug. 21, 2012
RREEF Real Estate global sustainability head Patty Connolly says a number of US real estate investors (domestic and European) are requesting their investment managers to track not just the typical financial performance indicators but also energy consumption(though they still refuse to track energy drink consumption). She says an investment manager's job is to be a step ahead of its investors, and that's why RREEF is conducting research to determine which benchmarking metrics accurately reflect best practices and sustainable building. Jay, whose firm operates singularly in New York, says investors here are just starting to express interest. "I'm excited for the next chapter," he says.
Chris Cayten and Dennis Sherry at the NY Bar Association on Aug. 21, 2012
And benchmarking guidance isn't just for the big dogs. CodeGreen Solutions' Chris Cayten (with CBRE's Dennis Sherry) says the City's benchmarking survey came out three weeks ago and lets smaller owners see where they fall. He also says the trove of data from energy audits and retrocommissioning (for commercial buildings over 50k SF) that will result from Local Law 87 will put power in building owners' hands.
Aaron Menkin, John Hannum, and Don Leuthe at the NY Bar Association on Aug. 21, 2012
Vidaris' John Hannum (flanked by colleagues Aaron Menkin and Don Leuthe— and a photobombing portrait) says that a high-quality audit is key. Even one adjustment that yields $5,000 in annual savings adds up if applied to a 20-building portfolio. And all that Local Law 87 data is just the beginning. The first reports (scores will go up on the City's website on Sept. 17, Chris says) will establish a baseline. As owners act on it, the poor audits will be weeded out, John adds, and proven technology will rise to the top. His big advice: Start small.
Steve McDonough and Ward Strosser at the NY Bar Association on Aug. 21, 2012
ConEd Solutions' Ward Strosser (right, with our moderator, Summit Energy's Steve McDonough) says sustainability is an ongoing proposition. If you put in an automation system and forget about it—
well, that doesn't do anyone any good. Steve has been in sustainability for 18 years and says they give you a beard after 15. We think it has something to do with environmentally friendly insulation.
NY Bar Association on Aug. 21, 2012
This inscription on the bar at the NY Bar Association where our event was held struck us as worthy of translation to green building: Go forth and be proactive!