Buildings contribute to over 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in New York City, and 38 percent globally. This podcast will introduce you to people who are advancing the reality of healthy, resilient, and equitable low-carbon solutions that help solve climate change bit by bit.
Episode 6: Cutting Down Embodied Carbon
28:33Embodied carbon—the emissions resulting from the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of building materials—will play a key role in decarbonizing the built environment. In this episode of Building Tomorrow, Ellen Honigstock and Prateek Srivastava sit down with Stantec’s Robby Vogel to get a Structural Engineer’s perspective on strategies to reduce embodied carbon and how they can be employed in the built environment. They discuss everything from new technologies to navigating client relationships to how emerging and established professionals can learn from one another to shape the future of sustainable projects. If you’ve ever wondered what embodied carbon is and why it matters, this episode is a must-listen! GUEST Robby Vogel, Principal, Structural Engineering Design Leader, Stantec HOSTS Ellen Honigstock, Senior Director, Education, Urban Green Council Prateek Srivastava, Structural Engineer, Stantec RESOURCES Stantec What is SE2050?
Episode 5: Prioritizing Environmental Justice as we Electrify
30:56As New York City transitions away from fossil fuels, it’s imperative that environmental justice be centered in policy making, and that people from historically disadvantaged communities actively benefit from the transition. In this episode of Building Tomorrow, Zakiyah Sayyed and Anushka Maqbool sit down with Sonal Jessel, Director of Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, to talk about Sonal’s career journey, WE ACT’s work with electrification and workforce training, and the importance of centering environmental justice in the electrification conversation. GUEST: Sonal Jessel, Director, Policy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice HOSTS: Zakiyah Sayyed, Former Crew Supervisor for NYC°CoolRoofs Anushka Maqbool, Programs Associate, Urban Green Council RESOURCES: WE ACT for Environmental Justice Website Gas Free NYC: Decarbonizing New York City’s Future Buildings with Local Law 154 WE ACT Membership Urban Green's Analysis: Exploring Equitable Electrification
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Episode 4: Innovations in Sustainable Construction
46:11In February 2023, Michael Deane, former Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for Turner Construction and Urban Green Board Member, passed away, leaving behind a legacy as a dedicated sustainability champion and friend to the green building movement. Today, we’re re-releasing this 2018 conversation between Michael and Urban Green Senior Director of Education Ellen Honigstock: a wide-ranging discussion on eliminating construction waste and the wide array of innovations that lie at the intersection of sustainability and construction. This conversation remains as timely now as when it was recorded. Guest: Michael Deane, former Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for Turner Construction Host: Ellen Honigstock, Senior Director, Education, Urban Green Council Resources: Athena Sustainable Materials Institute Tally, Life Cycle Analysis App Carbon Leadership Forum, Embodied Carbon Network Living Building Challenge
Episode 3: Embodied Carbon 101
28:57As materials and construction account for 11 percent of global carbon emissions, embodied carbon—the emissions arising from the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of building materials—will play a key role in our path to deep decarbonization of our built environment. Join Shruti Narkar and Ellen Honigstock in a conversation with Aurora Jensen where she provides helpful tips on how to measure, track and scale the reduction of embodied carbon through her experience of working on real-world projects. Guest: Aurora Jensen, Senior Technical Specialist and Embodied Carbon Lead, Brightworks Sustainability Hosts: Shruti Narkar, Project Manager, CodeGreen Ellen Honigstock, Senior Director, Education, Urban Green Council
Episode 2: There’s a Better Way to Assess Building Energy
28:24Current benchmarking of building performance provides energy consumption data on a monthly basis. Molly Dee-Ramasamy thinks we can do better. Join Taylor Duncan and Ellen Honigstock as they interview Molly about a new cross-collaborative initiative that explores how measuring certain building data on an hourly basis can make benchmarking more precise, fair, and actionable in support of an affordable, low-carbon future. Guest: Molly Dee-Ramasamy, Director, Deep Carbon Reduction Group, JB&B Hosts: Taylor Duncan, Vice President, Northeast Growth & Development, Energy by 5 Ellen Honigstock, Senior Director, Education, Urban Green Council Resources: Benchmark 8760 Website Benchmark 8760 Fact Sheet
Episode 1: Grid Ready: Exploring Equitable Electrification
25:17Last year Urban Green published a major research report, Grid Ready, which found that converting building heating and hot water systems from fossil fuels to electric heat pumps does not pose any near-term risk to New York City’s electric grid. Our research and policy team recently expanded this analysis to explore how increasing power demand from building electrification impacts the grid in environmental justice communities. This new analysis, Exploring Equitable Electrification, found that the 15 NYC grid areas that may see the fastest electrification of heat and hot water systems and the earliest grid constraints are primarily Environmental Justice Areas. Therefore, it’s essential that building electrification policies and programs are designed to ensure an equitable transition—one that secures the benefits and mitigates potential challenges of building electrification. Join Urban Green’s research and policy team as they unpack the dynamics behind this new research! Host / Guests: Christopher Halfnight, Senior Director, Research and Policy, Urban Green Council Adam Schiabor, Manager, Research, Urban Green Council Danielle Manley, Manager, Policy, Urban Green Council Resources: Grid Ready: Powering NYC's All-Electric Buildings Report, 2021 Exploring Equitable Electrification, Analysis, 2022 Environmental Justice Organizations: UPROSE, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Introducing Building Tomorrow
1:36Decarbonization, electrification, and climate adaptation are the topics that are driving decision-making in the public and private sectors today. In this new podcast series by Urban Green Council we break down these complex topics, and introduce you to people who are advancing the reality of a clean, affordable low-carbon future and are helping solve climate change bit by bit.