Urban Fabrick’s founder Bill Worthen and New York office head Wolfgang Werner recently attended the Urban Green Council’s (the New York City affiliate of the USGBC) annual Gala – a fundraiser and networking event attended by a who’s who of the city’s building sustainability leaders.
Whether by accident or providence, the event was held just two days after the presidential election. Unsurprisingly for a sustainability crowd, the mood ranged from despondent to somber to grimly determined to work even harder towards creating sustainable, resilient, healthy and affordable development. The sudden realization that Hillary Clinton would not be sitting in the Oval Office come January to build upon our domestic and international commitments in the fight against climate change hung over the room. Yet the company of so many like-minded professionals who care deeply about the role our industry has to play in this fight gave rise to glimpses of hope – perhaps also aided by the refreshments from the open bars.
In his brief address, UGC Executive Director Russell Unger emphasized that the real strength of the green building movement does not come from our elected officials. Rather, it comes from the bottom up, from the talent and passion of our peers and colleagues who have committed their professional lives to this field. From the real estate industry, to researchers and architecture and engineering firms, those with the greatest empathy, creative vision, curiosity and drive are embracing sustainable design. As the tectonic shifts of the election sink in, and while the incoming administration’s agenda and focus remain far from clear, one thing seems certain: the work of dedicated professionals, coupled with cities and states pursuing aggressive greenhouse gas reduction strategies (such as New York City’s 80×50 goal) seems our best hope to maintain momentum and move our industry closer towards climate positive development. Working together, we have the ability to move forward – with or without the federal government’s help.
The Gala in the historic Altman Building in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood ended on an auspicious note for Urban Fabrick. During the seated dessert portion of the evening, UGC’s Cecil Scheib led the audience through a quiz consisting of ten questions relating to NYC policy and green building science. Despite having fortified himself with a significant number of beers – or perhaps because he had — Wolfgang was one of only a small handful who answered 9 of 10 correctly. He was then drawn as the winner from this handful and asked to come to the stage for a photo-op with UGC Vice-Chair Silda Wall Spitzer. The prize was kept a secret that night, but the next day it was revealed to be a custom rug from Flor. Let’s hope it will “tie the room together.”
Urban Fabrick assists project teams to meet, understand and design to new green building code requirements including CALGreen and the New York State Energy Code and a variety of local green building ordinances. We facilitate complex and high level green building certifications, onsite water reuse, net-zero energy design, sustainability master planning and climate positive development.
Urban Fabrick can help you to connect the dots and bridge many of the professional knowledge gaps that currently exist between today’s (business as usual) design practices and those required to successfully meet or exceed high performance (green) building code requirements, achieve green building ratings and make more informed, cost-effective and sustainable decisions. With over fifteen years of green building policy, practice and design expertise, Urban Fabrick adds value.