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Thursday, Jan 26, 2006

The NY Chapter of the America Institute of Architects hosted a by-invitation-only event to conclude the "High Performance Building in New York City" series on January 26, 2006. It was co-sponsored by the Sallan Foundation, NY-AIA Committee on the Environment, the Municipal Art Society and Urban Agenda.

The audience was a mix of local elected officials and staff, professionals in City government agencies and green architects and designers. The speakers, Ashok Gupta (Natural Resources Defense Council), Susan Boyle (Big Sue LLC), Randy Croxton (Croxton Collaborative), Carlton Brown (Full Spectrum of NY LLC), and Patty Noonan (NYC Partnership) drew upon their extensive experience to offer a galaxy of sophisticated and specific public policy proposals.

One speaker urged the City to expand net metering, allowing more buildings that generate electricity on site, from solar or other sources, to feed current into the grid, thus easing demands on the conventional power supply system while providing revenue to residential, commercial and government buildings. Other speakers targeted new City tax and zoning policies for stimulating development of high performance building, with an emphasis on affordable housing. A change to the "Quality Housing" zoning rule that restricts the height of residential buildings was proposed to encourage installation of rooftop power saving technologies.

The speakers were united in calling for sustainability to be built into the very fabric of New York's private and public sectors. As Nancy Anderson noted, "I know that many of you here today already joined the long march toward urban sustainability. I hope that you leave here today with new tools for making a more sustainable New York because if this panel series has inspired and informed you, that would be no small thing."

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