Thursday February 24th, 2022
9:00 am to 10:30 am

Recording of Beyond Zero Series: Decarbonizing Downtowns on February 24th, 2022

Join Building Energy Exchange, NYSERDA and the Department of State for a Beyond Zero series program focused on projects that decarbonize town centers, helping to transform them into economic and environmental recovery engines. Town centers have traditionally been the financial and communal heart of their respective regions, but long-term economic trends coupled with the suburbanization of the built environment have left many of these places struggling. Revitalizing downtowns offers a powerful tool to help reduce climate change impacts, improve public health outcomes, and rectify long term environmental injustice–with carbon neutral buildings acting as a critical spark.

These buildings can act as a catalyst to improve central neighborhoods, thereby increasing connectivity and walkability, spurring additional development, economic opportunity, and housing diversity, while also limiting transportation-related emissions. During this panel event, speakers will discuss how they are contributing to re-imagined, revitalized downtowns with carbon neutral projects.

Featured projects include:

The Bethel Town Hall project is a renovated and expanded design to meet the needs of Bethel, NY, that will pursue Passive House Institute U.S. certification and carbon neutral performance. This will include the addition of renewable energy and battery storage to eliminate the need for a back-up generator and to help reduce peak energy demand. The town has a unique opportunity to create awareness of its carbon neutral town hall among the visitors to the original Woodstock Festival site as a model that can be emulated by other communities.

The Enterprise Lumber & Silo Redevelopment Project will restore and repurpose a vacant masonry and heavy timber-framed building in the City of North Tonawanda, New York to achieve carbon neutral performance. The building will serve as an incubator for entrepreneurial architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering firms. When completed, the new building and the site will serve as a catalyst for further redevelopment of the downtown, and as a model for carbon neutral construction methods.

Opening Remarks
Kisha Santiago-Martinez,
Deputy Secretary for Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure, NYS Department of State

Sarah Crowell, Director, Office of Planning, Development & Community Infrastructure, New York State Department of State

Juhee Lee-Hartford, Founding and Managing Principal, CEO, River Architects, PLLC
Kelley Culp-Burton, President, KCB Architecture
Claire Weisz, Founding Principal, WXY Studio

The Beyond Zero series will celebrate low carbon projects across the State of New York that improve the health, affordability, and resiliency of communities. A multi-year effort across 2021-2022, the Beyond Zero educational series will highlight successes, strategies, incentives, and goals for accelerating building decarbonization and optimizing carbon neutral design and construction.



Photo credit: SDOT Photos (CC BY-NC 2.0), no modifications.

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