New York City Wants Greener Buildings

What will it take to get green building research out of academia and into actual commercial buildings? New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes it may be the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center, an initiative to promote the development and commercialization of green building technologies in New York City.

Under this initiative, academic institutions–such as Columbia University, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and the City University of New York (CUNY), which are partnering with the Center– will conduct underlying research and connect with companies to create commercial products, which building owners will then put to work in building greener buildings. The companies associated with the Center will gain real-world “test sites” for their products, while building owners will benefit from discounts on cutting-edge developments in return.

Eco Display at Empire State Building

image via Empire State Building

The Center is sponsored through the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and has two other objectives, as well: to develop an information and data clearinghouse to track building technology costs, benefits, and lessons learned from deployments underway throughout the City, and to bring together stakeholders in the private sector and academic institutions on green building entrepreneurship, financing and City-specific challenges. Towards those ends, it will maintain a database of current green building technology needs and research and host a series of community building forums.

In regards to funding this project, the New York City Economic Development Corporation will provide $250,000 to help establish it, and Columbia, NYU-Poly and CUNY will provide upwards of $500,000 worth of resources, including staff to develop the program, build the database and conduct corporate outreach. The Center will develop a sponsorship and membership structure whereby technology companies and building owners can join at various levels ranging from $1,000 a year to $50,000 a year

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.