New York Build 2017 Recap

Well last week sure was fun! Did we chat with you at New York Build?

If you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (which you definitely should!), you probably know that we signed up to be exhibitors at New York Build 2017, which is an expo on construction and design exclusively for the big apple. Since we’ve created one of the most revolutionary products in residential green building with our solar cabana, we fit right in with all the summits ranging from real estate to sustainability. There were speakers, panels, free candy, and tons of great people all under the same awesome Javits Center green roof.

We even built a to-scale, moving cabana so everyone could get a feel of the real deal! Plus, it was a great conversation starter.

On the second event day, team member Annie decided to check out some of the presentations. Here she’s detailed a couple of her favorite talks, so if you had to miss the expo (#blizzardproblems) don’t worry, you can learn as much as we did!

1/2/5 Garage Project with Paul Bauer

First up was Paul Bauer from Dattner Architects, speaking on the award winning 1/2/5 garage created for the NYC Department of Sanitation. He spoke in detail about the Manhattan garage and salt shed’s environmentally responsible features, which earned the project LEED Gold certification (and they were aiming for silver!).

Ensuring communication with your neighbors is the key to a smooth job, he explained. The architects incorporated efforts to alleviate worries, such as moving the fueling facility inside to prevent fuel leaking out into the neighborhood. The city also took the steps to let people see exactly what was going on in planning and construction, and the structure ended up becoming a positive influence for the community and leading sustainable design in the city.

Paul Bauer of Dattner Architects discussing the 1/2/5 Garage.

Paul Bauer of Dattner Architects discussing the 1/2/5 Garage.

We’re inspired by the drive to transform a building that could’ve been boring into a functional, innovative space that incorporated high-tech sustainability at every turn - we can relate!

Green Residential Real Estate & Green Living with John Oppermann

Next up was John Oppermann, the Executive Director of Earth Day Initiative with a talk about the market potential for green residential real estate and green living.

His presentation was all about the big disconnect between the residential market and sustainable building: the benefits and certifications of green buildings are not communicated effectively or at all.

Most of the miscommunication stems from the convoluted appraisal process, Oppermann explained. While there are standards in place, appraisers aren’t sure “how to appreciate the factors that go into a home being green,” and banks/homeowners aren’t aware there are specialized appraisers skilled in sustainable buildings and their benefits.

John Oppermann discussing the complex relationship between sustainability efforts and real estate.

John Oppermann discussing the complex relationship between sustainability efforts and real estate.

Oppermann recommended various strategies to standardize the valuation process, especially advocating for green training and education programs for brokers and appraisers. He pointed out orgs already doing this, such as National Association of Realtors Green Designation and the Ecobroker International Designation, but it should become standard practice to seek this information as New York becomes more sustainable each year.

We definitely agree with him; it’s important to communicate all the benefits of green initiatives so they’re not undervalued and more people will be motivated to incorporate sustainable building into their spaces.

Takeaway: Communication is Crucial

From these two captivating presentations and others, one thing was clear: communication with your audience is the gateway to success - both for business and for the future of sustainable building. That's why we're so happy we got a chance to chat with so many great people equally as passionate!

There was a ton to learn at the New York Build Expo this year, and we’re sad we couldn’t attend every single activity, but what we did absorb is essential: sustainability in architecture is rapidly growing, but those of us in the industry need clear communication with our clients and whomever values innovative projects to ensure all of this innovation is not undervalued or overlooked.

What do you think, will you be at the expo next year? If you attended, let us know what you thought, and if you didn’t - we hope to see you there next year!