NYSSBC coordinated a panel for BuildingsNY, the largest gathering of property owners, managers, designers, architects, and others building trade professionals. Thousands attend this two-day event at the Javits Center: 655 W 34th St, New York, New York 10001.
Our panel covered current and pending policies at the City and State level that impact businesses in the building trade. We discussed the role of independent businesses in New York State policy advocacy and took a deep look at Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency policies relevant to New York City buildings.
Speakers from RIGHT to LEFT (in presenting order) listed below:
John Ciovacco (moderator) is the President of Aztech Geothermal, LLC, an engineering-driven, design-build contractor of innovative renewable heating & cooling systems. He serves as a resource to building owners, construction companies, engineers, architects and investors regarding the latest renewable and energy efficiency technologies, government incentives, and financing options. John is an IGSHPA Accredited Geothermal Installer, a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Certified Contractor, and Certified Green Professional with the NAHB.
Bob Rossi is the Executive Director of the New York State Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC), an alliance of business organizations and businesses committed to advancing a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy in the state. Bob draws from his experience in academia, small business, and the nonprofit sector. He has been involved in several business startups in software, manufacturing, and green building and helped launch nonprofits including the Green Resource Hub, which promotes sustainable lifestyle and supports green business. Most Recently, Bob founded the CommonSpot, a coworking space and social enterprise incubator in Ithaca, NY.
Bob Wyman is a renewable energy consultant and geothermal heat pump (GHP) advocate. He is currently engaged with clients who seek to dramatically increase the adoption of GHP. He also advocates for clean energy solutions in New York City such the elimination of No 6 and No 4 heating oil and the recently passed requirement that GHPs be considered for all new and retrofitted municipal buildings. Prior to engaging full time with the GHP industry, Bob spent 40+ years in the software industry making significant contributions in the areas of electronic mail, office automation, hypertext, digital rights management, multimedia publishing, and both retrospective and prospective search technologies.
Samara Swanston, J.D., has been practicing Environmental Law for more than twenty five years. She is currently the legislative counsel to the Environmental Protection Committee of the New York City Council and an Adjunct Professor at the Pratt Institute Graduate School for Urban Planning and the Environment. She was the environmental counsel to the Town of Babylon and the County of Suffolk where she litigated Long Island Pine Barrens v. Town of Brookhaven et al., the largest environmental lawsuit in state history, and was the first drafter of the legislation creating the Long Island Pine Barrens Maritime Reserve Act. Samara also was a Superfund attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency and then a manager for the Superfund program of the Department of Environmental Conservation. Samara has written numerous, extensively cited law review articles. She was also the first drafter of the local law to require coordination between the state and city for construction projects that require state wetlands or coastal erosion hazard area permits. Among other legislation, she recently wrote two local laws to promote the use of geothermal energy.
Cecil Scheib, PE, CEM, LEED AP is Chief Program Officer at Urban Green Council. With 25 years experience spearheading sustainability projects in the built environment, he leads Urban Green’s policy, research, and education initiatives. As Managing Director of the Building Resiliency Task Force for the City of New York, he led an effort to consider how to best rebuild after Hurricane Sandy in order to prepare New York City for future extreme weather events. Previously, he was Director of Energy and Sustainability at New York University, cutting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in five years. He was the lead author on NYU’s Climate Action Plan and Energy and Water Design Standards for new construction. NYU received AASHE STARS Gold and the highest rating of any institution in the Operations category. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and a Professional Engineer’s license from New York State, and is a Certified Energy Manager and LEED Accredited Professional.