ATLANTA - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has announced a specialty conference in New York City called Existing Buildings in Urban Areas: Dramatically Cutting the Energy Waste. ASHRAE said the conference has been developed to guide the building community and government in reducing energy in existing buildings. It takes place April 19-20 at the Grand Hyatt in New York.

Among the speakers are Tony Malkin, president, Malkin Properties, a real estate firm that owns and manages over 14 million square feet of office, retail, residential and other properties in 15 states, including the Empire State Building, and Jody Durst, co-president, The Durst Organization, the owner, manager, and builder of 9 million square feet of midtown Manhattan office and residential properties, including 4 Times Square. These owners will help highlight NYC’s “Greener, Greater Buildings” laws, said to be the first in the nation to address energy usage in existing buildings.

Malkin and Durst are taking part in an April 19 panel focused on real estate executives. They will share lessons learned in making their properties sustainable and discuss why sustainability is a driving force in the real estate industry.

“The founders of these two organizations helped construct the city’s skyline,” said Michael Bobker, conference chair. “And today’s generation is working to make that skyline more sustainable. The Empire State Building is undergoing a $500 million renovation with a focus on greatly reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions. And the Durst property portfolio sets new standards for use of new technologies. They truly can speak to our conference goal of cutting energy waste.”

Also taking place at the conference is a session on Energy Performance Rating and Disclosure, which will include an update on ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient program. The program, launched in a pilot phase in December, serves to inform building owners and operators, tenants, and prospective buyers on the energy use of buildings, to encourage the building industry to find ways to cut energy use and costs. Some 25 buildings, represented by leading building owners and designers, real estate developers, and government agencies, are involved in the pilot program.

On April 20, a breakfast talk on Strategizing an Urban Campaign is featured. Those taking part include representatives of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, an international association of local governments as well as national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development, and Rohit T. Aggarwala, director, the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, City of New York. Aggarwala will provide an update on Plan NYC, New York City’s long-term sustainability plan.

Also taking place on April 20 is a session on Real Estate Decision-Making – Bridging the Gap between Engineers and Decision-Makers. Featured speakers from TIAA-CREF, Sentinel Real Estate Corp., and Prudential Real Estate Investors will evaluate investment in energy efficiency in existing buildings. Real estate decision makers will explain opportunity cost of capital and other barriers to investing, as well as what drives them to invest and what they need to see from engineering companies and energy service companies.

ASHRAE said the conference addresses investment and financial decision-making, effective public policies, and necessary technical steps, including energy audits, retro-commissioning, and mechanical system retrofits.

To register or for more information, visit The conference is endorsed by BOMA International and the U.S. Green Building Council and sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Publication date:04/05/2010