For Immediate Release
September 22, 2020
CLIMATE WEEK: DOB ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF FIRST-EVER CARBON NEUTRALITY INNOVATION CHALLENGE
Four winning teams will present at Department’s first ever digital conference, Build Safe | Live Safe Digital 2020: Safety, Innovation, & Sustainability
New York, NY – The New York City Department of Buildings today announced, during Climate Week 2020, the winners of the agency’s first-ever innovation challenge for ideas to increase energy efficiency among buildings. Launched earlier this year on Earth Day in partnership with the Urban Tech Hub @ Company, the Carbon Neutrality Innovation Challenge put out an open call to the design, construction and technology industries, inviting the public to submit their ideas on ways to increase building sustainability. With the goal of generating ideas to contribute to NYC’s ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, each of these winning submissions will be presented at DOB’s digital industry conference, Build Safe | Live Safe Digital 2020: Safety, Innovation, & Sustainability. You can watch the presentations live today, Tuesday, September 22 at 4:30PM EDT by registering here.
“Climate change is an existential threat to a coastal city like ours, and innovative technologies will help us meet this challenge head on,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “As part of our first ever digital conference, I am thrilled to congratulate the winners of our sustainability innovation challenge. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our buildings is critical to fighting climate change and protecting New Yorkers, and we are proud of our continued partnership with the industry to confront this critical issue.”
The Carbon Neutrality Innovation Challenge received submissions from a wide range of design, construction and technology organizations from across the region, with ideas ranging from new sustainable technology solutions to existing building retrofits. Members from DOB’s in-house Innovation Committee and a special panel of judges comprised of experts from the private sector selected winners based on feasibility, impact and innovation. In addition to showcasing the winners at this week’s digital industry conference, the winners of this challenge will be supported for inclusion in the 2020 NYC Building Code.
Please note: The following descriptions were provided by the competition entrants themselves. The winners will not receive monetary compensation.
Carbon Neutrality Innovation Challenge winners:
"New York has long been home to a strong community of innovators committed to identifying creative solutions to meet our city's most pressing challenges," said Robinson Hernandez, Executive Director, Urban Tech Hub @ Company. "The Urban Tech Hub@ Company is proud to partner with the Department of Buildings to honor these innovations and to help New York City reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050."
“As we watch the West Coast burn while record-setting hurricanes pummel Louisiana, it is clear that even amid a pandemic we cannot lose sight of our looming climate crisis,” said Daniel Zarrilli, NYC’s Chief Climate Policy Advisor. “Congratulations to the winners of the Department of Buildings Carbon Neutrality Innovation Challenge who are demonstrating the ingenuity needed to deliver on New York City’s world-leading Green New Deal and end the age of fossil fuels. We are committed to doing our part by divesting from fossil fuels, decarbonizing our economy, and investing to create a resilient and inclusive city. That’s how we will create the jobs that will accelerate our economic recovery, achieve justice for our communities on the front lines of our climate crisis, and ensure a livable future for the next generation.”
“Empowering the creativity, brainpower, and diverse skill sets of designers, engineers and technologist is critical to uncover solutions that will make our buildings more energy efficient, and powering them more affordable,” said Mark Chambers, Director of NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “The winners announced today are a critical part of solving the climate crisis and I thank the DOB for their efforts to give them a platform to advance this urgent work.”
"This important initiative demonstrates that there are feasible, creative solutions for increasing energy efficiency in our buildings and helping our city eventually reach its goal of carbon neutrality," said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly's Housing Committee. "In addition to being impressive on their own, these winning models will serve to inspire other technology companies to come up with innovative ideas to help enhance building sustainability in the years to come."
“We are honoured to have been chosen as a winner of the DOB Innovation Challenge. NYC is a global leader in sustainable innovation and we are pleased to join the Department of Buildings in its mission to carbon neutrality for all of the citizens of New York City.” said Ron MacDonald, President and CEO of Zinc8 Energy Solutions.
“The collective “WE” cannot solve climate change by only addressing market rate housing. That’s why we proposed WindowSkins to NYC-DOB. It’s time to bring everyone into the conversation now so no one is left behind,” said Rachel N. Rosen, CEO & Co-Founder of WexEnergy LLC.
"Radiator Labs is thrilled to participate in the DOB’s first Carbon Neutrality Innovation Challenge. The Radiator Labs system provides a clear path towards New York City’s 2050 climate goals for New York’s classic and iconic buildings while significantly reducing emissions and heating costs. Our technology is beneficial for both the environment and users of these buildings who can control their heating temperatures for the first time in the history of steam-heated buildings,” said Matthew Isaacs, Vice President of Business Development and Sales of Radiator Labs.
“Like New York City, Hydromx also understands the importance of reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions. Join our Empire State of Mind to become Carbon Neutral by 2050,” said Berkin Arikan, CEO of Hydromx Inc.
“Urban Green congratulates the Innovation Challenge winners,” said John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council. “DOB and the Urban Tech Hub are helping to bring new technologies to market to unlock carbon savings for all NYC buildings.”
“We want to thank and applaud those who participated in the sustainability challenge. Each presentation focused on details either small or large that together and over time will make a more sustainable future,” said Steven Zirinsky AIA, Zirinsky Architecture PC, Co Chair Building Code Committee, AIANY.
“Each of these companies tackles an important component of carbon neutrality in New York City with a return on investment that will lead to adoption,” said Raymond Daddazio, Chairman, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York.
“REBNY thanks the Department of Buildings for the opportunity to participate in the Carbon Neutrality Innovation Challenge. Reducing carbon emissions from the building stock is a critical priority and we commend the winners for their achievements,” said James Whelan, REBNY President.
For more information about sustainability at the Department of Buildings, please visit our website.