NEW YORK, August 30, 2011 - The NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate's Center for the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE)has entered its second academic year with an impressive list of accomplishments. Since its inception in February 2010, the SBE has significantly surpassed its initial goals and is now expanding its offerings in the areas of research, educational programs and events in Fall 2011 and Spring 2012.
As an illustration of how the work of the SBE is being recognized for its academic rigor and its value industry practice, Constantine Kontokosta, Ph.D., P.E., Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the SBE, has been elected to the Board of the United Nations Environmental Programme Sustainable Buildings Climate Initiative (UNEP-SBCI) and to the Americas Board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
“The SBE was created to fill an opportunity that existed because of a disconnect between theoretical knowledge and the practical application of sustainability concepts,” said Dr. Kontokosta. “In 20 months since our launch, the SBE has become a leader in shaping innovative ideas in finance, policy, building science, and technology. Building on the outstanding strengths of the NYU Schack Institute and the University as a whole, we are also now embarking on extremely exciting work in emerging field of Urban Systems.”
SBE's focus is to leverage its unique position within NYU to bring together multi-disciplinary groups from industry, government, and academia to develop the next generation of sustainable real estate metrics and markets. Since its inception, the SBE has spear-headed or been closely involved in the following research initiatives:
- The Urban Systems Collaborative – the SBE has joined with IBM, Cisco, the Regional Plan Association, Rockefeller Foundation, and others to create a platform to study how the use of real-world data can influence the planning, design, development, and operation of cities.
- The NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center (NYC UTIC) – working closely with NYU-Poly and partners Columbia University, CUNY, and the NYC Economic Development Corporation - the SBE is helping to accelerate the deployment of green technologies through its role in leading the Policy and Finance Working Groups Initiative.
- UNEP-SBCI – The SBE is completing a report on GHG emissions and the U.S. Buildings Sector, part of a global series of reports to inventory and assess carbon emissions from buildings led by the United Nations Environment Programme. The SBE is also working closely on a similar report with the Consejo Colombiano de Construcción Sostenible, based in Bogota, Colombia.
- Green Building Regulation Database (GBRD) – The SBE created an extensive database of green building policies for 200 U.S. cities. Director Kontokosta has completed research examining the diffusion and effect of these policies, which will be published in real estate journals.
- NYC Department of Buildings Sustainability Project –Students from the SBE are working with the NYC DOB, facilitated by the NYC Department of Design and Construction's Town Gown research collaborative, to identify incentives for sustainable design through the permitting process.
- Retrofit and Infrastructure Financing – The SBE has been convening a task force on building retrofit financing that includes representatives from some of the major banks, utilities, and technology companies. This task force will continue under the umbrella of a NYC UTIC working group. Research on retrofit financing mechanism will be presented at the World Sustainable Buildings Congress in October.
- NYU LEED Portfolio Analysis – Members of the SBE Student Technical Assistance Team (STAT) have just completed a comprehensive study of NYU's LEED buildings, identifying LEED pre-certification opportunities and providing policy/design recommendations for future NYU buildings. This work was supported by the NYU Sustainability Task Force and the Office of Facilities and Construction Management.
In the area of education, SBE has been able to successfully immerse, introduce, and intertwine sustainable initiatives into the curriculum at NYU Schack's Real Estate Institute. The following academic programs have been launched over the past year:
- A Sustainable Development concentration in the M.S. in Real Estate Development program
- Two new executive education intensive courses including Retrofitting Existing Building and Green Building Operations
A critical role of the SBE is to convene leaders and stakeholders from a diverse range of professions, industries, and sectors. Over the past year, the SBE held a series of events designed to raise the level of discussion and debate around a sustainable built environment. These events included:
- The Urban Systems Symposium (details at www.urbansystemssymposium.org)
- The 1st Annual Sustainable Real Estate Conference – “Building the Smart City” (view videos)
- The 1st Annual Sustainable Real Estate Development Student Competition (view information on winning proposals)
The SBE has a robust schedule of events for the Fall 2011 semester, and is currently finalizing the program for the 2nd Annual Sustainable Real Estate Conference and Competition scheduled for February 23rd and 24th in New York City.
For more information about the Center for the Sustainable Built Environment, please visit www.scps.nyu.edu/sbe.
About the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate
The NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate (www.scps.nyu.edu/schack) was founded in 1967, at the initiative of prominent real estate leaders who encouraged NYU to establish an academic center that provided an educational foundation for professionals within their industry. Today, NYU Schack is home to graduate degree and related graduate certificate programs—notably the M.S. in Real Estate, the M.S. in Construction Management and the new MS in Real Estate Development—which enroll some 700 full- and part-time students from more than 30 countries and have nearly 2,500 alumni degree-holders around the globe. In addition, each year approximately 7,200 working professionals enroll in the Institute's professional certificate programs, noncredit courses, and licensure-related offerings in such areas as real estate finance, sales and brokerage, sustainable design, facilities management, and architecture and civil engineering. The Institute also houses the NYU REIT Center and the Center for the Sustainable Built Environment and hosts key industry events, including annual conferences on Real Estate Capital Markets and REITs. NYU Schack is one of several comprehensive academic divisions within the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS), the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally.