FirstService Residential Sustainability Expo Champions "Green" Building Systems and Practices for NYC Condos and Co-ops
FirstService Residential, previously known as Cooper Square Realty, hosted its second annual Sustainability Expo on Monday, April 22 to commemorate Earth Day. The theme of the day’s events was the benefits of sustainable building systems and practices for reducing energy use, operating costs, and environmental impact, while increasing the value of a property and improving residents’ quality of life.
As the city’s largest residential management company, FirstService Residential is responsible for guiding decisions that impact more than 75 million sq. ft. of residential real estate. “We are in a unique position to educate our employees, building staff and board members on the benefits – both in terms of cost reduction and environmental impact – of sustainable building systems and practices,” says David Kuperberg, President of FirstService Residential New York. “By providing this platform for increased collaboration and awareness, we are presenting critical knowledge that will help to ‘green’ the 500-plus properties managed by FirstService Residential.”
The event was held in two sessions. In the morning, more than 300 building superintendents, resident managers and property managers attended seminars on topics including New York City’s updated Energy Conservation Code, combined heat and power systems, emergency preparedness, incentives and rebates from Con Edison, heat timer controls, energy efficient, cost effective HVAC systems, and a tree care workshop.
FirstService Residential’s newly-upgraded Learning Center played host to demonstrations on control systems and cogeneration. In addition, the company’s project management subsidiary, FS Project Management, showcased the ecological, technical and economic benefits of green, cool and solar roofs.
Demonstrations by nearly 30 suppliers covered a spectrum of goods, services, and technologies addressing sustainability. Featured services ranged from environmentally friendly cleaning products and supplies, water management, and dry cleaning, to efficient lighting, heating controls and pest extermination. Also presented were available energy rebates and incentives, clean fuels, cool roofs, disaster planning, landscaping, car sharing, and Re-fashioNYC, a clothing recycling partnership with the City of New York.
The evening event featured an expert panel discussion exclusively for co-op and condominium board presidents on “Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: How Your Property Can Benefit from New York City Regulations.” Board members were presented with practical solutions that illustrate how compliance with New York City Local Laws and regulations can, in fact, provide economically positive results.
The panel comprised Michael Colgrove, Director of Energy Programs, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority; Richard Leigh, Director of Research at the Urban Green Council; John Lee, Deputy Director for Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency, NYC Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability; William C. Ragals, Jr., former energy attorney and Board President of The Strand Condominium; and Howard L. Zimmerman, President, H.L. Zimmerman Architects.
Chris De Weaver, Energy Efficiency Expert and Clean Tech Leader of FirstService Energy, served as panel moderator. FirstService Energy is the FirstService Residential subsidiary that advises clients of ways to reduce energy consumption, costs and emissions.
Nearly $2,500 was raised through the purchase of homegrown herbs and plants at the expo. Proceeds will benefit MillionTreesNYC, a public-private program which aims to plant and care for one million new trees across the five boroughs over the next decade. “We are thrilled to be able to contribute these funds to MillionTreesNYC to help reach this important goal for our city,” adds Kuperberg. The program is part Mayor Bloomberg’s comprehensive plan to build a greener, greater New York.