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CURIOUS | How to Make More Communities Green? Hold a World-Class Building Contest!

CURIOUS | How to Make More Communities Green? Hold a World-Class Building Contest!

Photo: Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA. Courtesy of NYSERDA

Do you ever wonder how to make the most impact in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? Buildings account for nearly 70 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in New York City, and a large percentage throughout the rest of the state as well. To help New York State reach its ambitious energy goals, including a 40 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 (using 1990 as a baseline), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has kicked off the Buildings of Excellence competition. 

Announced on March 6, the competition is open to “eligible developers whose multi-family projects stimulate the design, construction, and operation of very low- or zero- carbon emitting buildings.” The competition will offer $30 million to be awarded over three years and is part of a broader $50 million investment by NYSERDA in the multi-family new construction sector. The competition is meant to showcase how buildings can be efficient, affordable, resilient and aesthetically outstanding. According to NYSERDA, “The competition will show how low-carbon buildings can be profitable, attractive and affordable for New Yorkers and will demonstrate how advanced building design can eventually be adopted into the New York State Energy Conservation and Construction Code.”

Projects must demonstrate:

  • Design and construction methods that are replicable and will achieve broad-based adoption by both developers and residents
  • Financial benefits for owners, and healthy, safe, and outstanding living environments for occupants 

NYSERDA will offer $10 million in funding through three rounds to eligible developers. First round proposals must be submitted by June 4, 2019, with winners to be announced in late summer 2019.  

To be eligible, projects must be at least 50 percent multi-family occupancy as the primary use and be located in one of the six electric investor-owned New York State utility company territories. Buildings may be of any height and must demonstrate low-carbon attributes. Four stages of projects are eligible, including early design, late design, under construction, and post-completion performance optimization. 

The Buildings of Excellence competition is part of New York's approach to build a strong foundation for energy efficiency activities economy-wide. By fostering innovation to deliver low- and zero-carbon energy efficiency solutions, New York will cut emissions by cost-effectively reducing electricity and building fuel demand across the state. 

New York Makers wants to help NYSERDA reach as many eligible developers as possible because we want New York State to show-the-way for sustainable, resilient, cutting edge buildings! Curious to learn more? Click here.

Photo: NYSERDA Advisory Council Members and Speakers left to right Matt Brown, Janet Joseph, Alicia Barton, Richard Yancey, Silda Wall Spitzer, Ilya Azaroff, Zach Steinberg, Chuck Bell at the Buildings of Excellence Launch event, held at the Building Energy Exchange in the Surrogate's Courthouse. Courtesy of NYSERDA

Editor’s Note: Silda Wall Spitzer, New York Makers CEO and Publisher, has been a long-time advocate for green sustainable building and sits on the Buildings of Excellence Advisory Council.