Energy Secretary Attends Green Supers Graduation
New York, NY - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu was in New York today for the graduation of 1,000 green buildings superintendents and resident managers from the 32BJ-Thomas Shortman Green Supers training program. The Green Supers graduation, which took place at 32BJ headquarters in lower Manhattan, was hosted by Realty Advisory Board President Howard Rothschild and 32BJ President Mike Fishman and attended by real estate industry executives and hundreds of building superintendents who are already making New York City's buildings more energy efficient.
"Green Supers is a win-win for building owners, resident and tenants, and just about everyone," said Mike Fishman. "It's the type of program we need to turn the Big Apple green and other cities too. And that's why it should be expanded to more building workers - here in New York and in cities across the country."
Green Supers, which has been expanded with a $3 million US Department of Labor grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is approved by the U.S. Green Building Council and the Building Performance Institute. The 32BJ-Thomas Shortman Training Fund's program is a 40 hour class that provides building service workers with the latest, state-of-the-art practices in energy efficient operations. The curriculum trains workers to identify and address energy waste, create a green operating plan and perform cost-benefit analysis for building owners and managers.
"With most building service workers employed at RABOLR buildings and represented by 32BJ, this labor-management program aims to give tens of thousands of workers the skills they need to reduce waste and costs while increasing energy efficiency at buildings across the city," said Howard Rothschild, President of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RABOLR) - which represents building owners and managers in New York City.
Energy savings from buildings is the lowest-cost method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. In addition, greener buildings could save the New York real estate industry as much as $230 million a year in operating expenses.
"As a full-fledged professional development program, Green Supers is providing new opportunities to our employees by promoting low-cost green alternatives to reduce operating costs and help protect the environment," said James O'Connor, President of Douglas Elliman.
With a growing demand for greener buildings, smarter management practices could reduce energy use in buildings by twenty to forty percent, according to a report from the Department of Energy.
"32BJ has achieved something amazing," said Russell Unger, Executive Director of Urban Green Council, U.S. Green Building Council of New York." They looked ahead to a changing market and greener city, set ambitious targets and created a cutting-edge training program. The whole city will benefit as 32BJ's members apply their knowledge to increase energy and water efficiency, improve indoor air quality, and provide New Yorkers with the range of benefits that come from green buildings and operations."
When Green Supers launched, Mayor Bloomberg described the program as "a smart, practical and effective way to help make the Big Apple Green" and a "a low-cost way to make our buildings more energy and cost efficient, and our environment cleaner, all while saving our city millions of dollars."
"With Green Supers, apartment owners can save thousands of dollars in yearly operating costs and enjoying greener buildings," said Mary Ann Rothman, Executive Director of the Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums.
The Green Supers curriculum combines classes and field exercises with elective courses, including renewable technologies, green roofs and water reuse.
"As a building superintendent, I know first-hand that the Green Supers helps building workers save money and reduce energy waste and protect the environment for all New Yorkers," said Victor Nazario, a 32BJ member and Resident Manager.
To date, more than 1,000 supers and resident managers from New York City have completed the program. Thomas Shortman expects to train 1,000 more building service workers by the end of the year.
"By learning how to air seal a building, improve heating and air conditioning performance and reduce overall energy use in a building's common areas, graduates can achieve substantial savings at their buildings," said Linda Nelson, Director of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund.
Green Supers is a program of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund - a labor management partnership that offers training to more than 80,000 32BJ union members working in the property services industry. The Fund's programs provide 150,000 hours of industry, academic, and computer courses at over 20 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RABOLR) is a multi-employer association serving the real estate industry in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Connecticut and Northern New Jersey. With more than 120,000 members in eight states, including 70,000 in New York, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.
1,000 Green Supers Instructor Profiled at New York House
Ellen Honigstock has been profiled on the New York House Magazine website
. Ellen, a champion for Green Buildings in NYC, teaches multiple subjects to 32BJ superintendents, including Quantifying Energy Use, Building Science, Building Envelope, and Indoor Environmental Quality.
Making an impact is what she's all about. She teaches superintendents of buildings about new energy efficient operations and maintenance practices through the 1,000 Green Supers Program at the SEIU Local 32BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund. The Fund just received a $2.8 million federal stimulus grant to expand and train 2,200 supers in New York.
The supers spend five full days learning the latest, state-of-the-art practices: how to identify and address wasted energy, create a green operating plan, and perform cost-benefit analysis for building owners and managers. "We give them a lot of strategies. But I hope the thing that we give them the most is tools to be able to communicate why this is important," Honigstock relates. Many have been superintendents for 25, 30, or 40 years, and they've been doing things the same way, she says, adding that she enjoys watching them exchange strategies and confer about their own experiences.
"I totally love it-and it's a really important program," Honigstock says. "They are the front lines-they have more control than I would say any other group in the city, other than building owners."
Blogging 1,000 Green Supers
Michael Wolfe, President of 2007's NYARM Management Company of the Year - Midboro Management
, is one of the most active supporters of green operations and maintenance in New York City. Just sending his superintendents through the 1,000 Green Supers program is not enough for him. He decided that he wanted to shadow one of the classes and blog about his experience. Over the next three weeks Michael will be posting what he learns for Habitat Magazine.Day 1: October 22nd, 2009Day 2: October 29th, 2009Day 3: November 5th, 2009
Our course outline for today would include: building science, building envelope and lighting, and appliance and plug load. It may not sound very interesting, but it was.
For example, the T12 fluorescent bulb has been an industry standard and is in most of your building's basements, stairwells and back halls. But T8 bulbs use less electricity and provide more light. As an exercise, we broke into groups and learned how to change a fixtures ballast to retrofit it for a T8 bulb. And then on my own, I went to Home Depot and got the materials to change a T12 fixture to a T8 in my own home!
The other participants and I enjoyed our first day, and although eight hours in a classroom can be a little draining, we all came away with options to save money for our buildings, reduce energy consumption and reduce our carbon footprint. And that's just day one. Come back next Monday for my report on day two.
Planet Green - Greening NYC, 1,000 Supers At a Time
is covering the 1,000 Green Supers program in a post at the Planet Green
While living in New York encourages certain environmentally friendly behaviors, like the use of public transportation, there are many aspects of life that could stand a little eco-improvement. Residential buildings are one such area: many buildings are older, run inefficiently, and use poorly maintained heating systems and outdated appliances such as older toilets that consume significantly more water than their newer counterparts. But with proper education, managers can take some basic steps to make their buildings vastly less wasteful of energy and water - and money.
Enter the Green Supers program, which has set out the goal of training 1,000 superintendents in one year. The program, which is run by the Thomas Shortman Training Fund, quotes studies showing that even before any major expenses are undertaken, simple changes in how a building is operated can reduce energy use by 10 percent - and that if all of the city's large apartment buildings reduced their energy by that much, New Yorkers could save $230 million a year and reduce their carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.
NY1: City Launches Program For More Efficient Buildings
New York television station NY1 profiled the launching
of the 1 Year:1,000 Green Supers this past Friday, Sept. 25th. A different profile was run on NY1 sister channel NY1 Noticias
"By doing all this, our building supers could effectively save New Yorkers an estimated $230 million every single year," said the mayor. "And if every single one of our large residential buildings took these small steps and received just a 10-percent energy saving, the greenhouse gas reductions would be phenomenal. It would be like taking 150,000 vehicles off the road."
That's Super: Bloomberg, Realty Advisory Board, 32BJ Join Forces to Green City's Superintendents
David Roth at GreenBuildingsNYC
discusses the implications of 1 Year: 1,000 Green Supers and how training can transform the entire profession of building superintendent to meet the needs of an energy efficient New York City.
One Year, One Thousand Green Supers program seems like an eminently worthwhile idea, and another smart green step for a Mayor who (whatever you think of him) has done very good work in this area. Bloomberg called it a "smart, practical effective way to help make the Big Apple green" at the ceremony announcing the launch of the program, and it's hard not to agree. A city full of LEED-certified buildings is only as green, after all, as the people running those buildings...
Habitat Magazine: Save the Planet, One Super at a Time
Frank Lovece of Habitat Magazine profiles the 1,000 Green Superintendents program
for an upcoming issue.
Columbia Helps Green New York's Buildings One Superintendent at a Time
Columbia University is on the forefront of the national effort to make our large buildings green. As part of their institution wide sustainability effort they have signed on to participate in 32BJ's 1,000 Green Supers program. In a recent publication Columbia profiled the 32BJ initiative
and a residential superintendent who has participated in the program.
Loretta Zuk, superintendent of a Columbia residential building at 547 Riverside Drive for the past 15 years, explained how the training will help her make changes to become more environmentally-friendly. "The first day of class we learned about building science and how to make buildings environmentally safe inside and out when it comes to things such as water, heat and ventilation," said Zuk.