While solar panels and green roofs get a lot of the spotlight when it comes to greening buildings, the most cost-effective measures have always looked to improve efficiency first and foremost. Habitat Mag covered this topic today in an article on the importance of supers in the success of any greening measures a building may undertake. The major effort in this regard has been the 1,000 Green Supers training offered by the 32BJ Training Fund that has already “certified more than 1,500 union members in green operations and maintenance”. That’s great news for the urban environment of New York City as more green supers means energy savings and cleaner environments both inside and outside our buildings.
On the other side of the coin, a super’s efforts can be undermined by tenants who aren’t informed of what’s happening in their buildings and the role that they play in greening efforts. Solar One’s Whole Buildings program works to bring that information directly to tenants as well as to supers who may not have had the opportunity to do any training. Over the past 2 years, we have worked with dozens of buildings and thousands of tenants to help reduce energy use and the cost of operating buildings.
These types of programs are a great start, but with so many thousands of buildings in the City, there’s always more to do. If you’re a building owner looking to do energy retrofits, check out the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation which might be able to help you finance your project and connect to other resources available to you. You can also look to programs such as “Green My Building” from Consolidate Energy Solutions. Because the cheapest energy, is the energy you don’t have to use.