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Finding the Needle in the Data Haystack: The Implications of a Data-Driven Built Environment


for Members

Finding the Needle in the Data Haystack: The Implications of a Data-Driven Built Environment

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


Within the green building industry, there is an increasing focus on policy, standards, and interoperability of building data. Municipalities are requiring energy data disclosure to reduce GHG emissions, real estate companies are looking for performance data to refine building valuation, underwriters are looking past net operating income to accounting for the triple bottom line, tenants are looking to improve employee satisfaction and measure their achievement of sustainability goals, NREL is developing a building data taxonomy, and the USGBC is working to simplify the certification and ongoing monitoring of buildings.

The result is a virtual tsunami of data that without the proper tools, standards, and analytics, can overwhelm potential users, and may frustrate and obscure the market transformation opportunities created by the data’s availability.

Our intent is to look at the potential data pool for the entire industry. From building operations to real estate finance – and draw out the value of different data sets in order to help organize data acquisition for greater utility, clarity in the industry, and for the conceptualization of business models that will support market innovation.

The first event in this effort is this discussion, which will outline the state of the industry. The panelists will explore both of the larger move towards data analytics and the current state of data utilization in the real estate industry. We will discuss variations due to building type, the use of environmental data, and municipal efforts to benchmark buildings. We will also take a broader perspective that will present how data analytics is transforming medical research, consumer products, advertising, and other industries in order to inspire a discussion on how this could translate to various sectors of the real estate industry.

This two-hour session on February 16th will be a preparatory event for a full-day conference on Data Analytics in the Built Environment that will be held on April 30th.

Continuing Education Credits Available:


GBCI CE Hours (LEED CMP Credits): 2.0


AIA CEU: 2.0 LU/HSW/SD Hours


Registration Pricing

Student / Postdoc / Fellow Member:$0
Student / Postdoc / Fellow Nonmember:$10


Presented by

  • The New York Academy of Sciences

Silver Sponsors


* Presentation times are subject to change.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

6:00 PM

Welcome and Introduction

6:05 PM

Building Energy Rating and Disclosure: A Catalyst for Efficiency
Cliff Majersik, Institute for Market Transformation

6:25 PM

Accelerating Green Building Market Transformation with Emerging Information Technologies
Chris Pyke, US Green Building Council

6:45 PM

Data Analytics: the Next Frontier for Innovation
Chris Garvin, Terrapin Bright Green

7:00 PM

Q&A Session

8:00 PM

Networking Reception


Chris Garvin, AIA, LEED AP

Terrapin Bright Green

Chris Garvin is an accomplished practitioner and active voice in the sustainable design community. His interests include high-performance design at both the building and community scale; zero energy communities, biomimicry, and water conservation. Chris serves as a project lead for many of Terrapin Bright Green’s consulting engagements while also managing projects for Cook + Fox Architects where he is a Senior Associate. Complementing his work at Terrapin, Chris lectures on sustainable design and has taught at the Pratt Institute's Center for Professional Practice since 2002. He also advises several organizations on sustainability issues, including the National Building Museum. Chris is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences' Green Building steering committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the New York Chapter of the US Green Building Council and on the Advisory Board for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of Long-term planning and sustainability.

Cliff Majersik

Institute for Market Transformation

Cliff Majersik, Executive Director, bears primary executive responsibility for the organization. He directs IMT's research into green building, energy efficiency and property value. Mr. Majersik leads IMT's education and outreach to the finance, appraisal and real estate sectors. He provides expert assistance to federal, state and local officials in developing energy and building policy and legislation. He was a leader in crafting Washington's Energy Act of 2008 and Green Building Act of 2006.

Before joining IMT in 2002, Mr. Majersik served as Director of the eProcurement Project and eBusiness Director for Conservation International's Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. Previously, he worked as a management consultant at the Corporate Executive Board specializing in E-commerce, sales-channel management, and strategic customer relationships. Mr. Majersik advised dozens of firms including Carrier, Chrysler, Cisco, BNSF, Verizon, Coke, Oracle, Sony, Tampa Electric, TI and Marriott. In 1994, he founded a web-based collaboration software company, eventually growing the firm to 25 employees. He currently serves on the board of directors of Greenspace NCR and on the Washington DC Green Building Advisory Council. He received his bachelor's degree, cum laude, in Political Economy from Williams College. He is a LEED accredited professional.

Chris Pyke, PhD

US Green Building Council

Dr. Pyke is the Vice President of Research for the US Green Building Council. He directs a diverse research portfolio that includes next generation rating systems, the assessment of building performance and occupant experience, and the study of market trends and dynamics. His research emphasizes the application of advanced information technology and covers a range of issues, including greenhouse gas mitigation and resilience. He directs the development of the Green Building Information Gateway, – an innovation resource to “unpack” information underlying LEED certified projects. He also serves in a number of technical advisory roles, including as a lead author for IPCC Working Group III, chair of the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, and on the Chesapeake Bay Commission’s Advisory Council on the Economics of Trading.



For sponsorship opportunities please contact Michel Wahome at or 212.298.8628.

Silver Sponsors

Promotional Partners

Environmental Advocates of New York

The Sallan Foundation


Building Energy Rating and Disclosure: A Catalyst for Efficiency
Cliff Majersik, Institute for Market Transformation

A primary barrier to unlocking energy efficiency opportunities in existing buildings is an information gap that prevents property and financial markets from comparing building energy performance and valuing energy-efficient buildings. Many commercial building operators have never comparatively measured the energy performance of their buildings, and many businesses and investors do not have reliable energy performance information for buildings before they lease or buy space. This lack of information limits the market forces that should be driving investments in energy efficiency.
Rating and disclosure is a market-based policy tool to overcome informational barriers to energy efficiency. Systematically assessing or “rating” buildings puts important energy performance information in the hands of owners and operators, helping them identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency. Disclosing ratings empowers tenants, investors and banks to identify and compare the energy performance of buildings, unlocking the market's ability to reward innovation and drive demand and competition for energy-efficient space with lower utility costs. The premise mirrors transparency rules in other market sectors, such as nutritional labels on food and fuel economy ratings on vehicles, which are recognized around the world as consumer protections and keystones of free and fair enterprise.
Over the past five years, the states of California and Washington, the cities of Austin, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, and the District of Columbia have enacted policies requiring the rating and disclosure of commercial building energy performance. In New York City alone, approximately 25,000 nonresidential and multifamily buildings totaling approximately 2.5 billion square feet of floor space must be rated and disclosed by 2013. LEED-certified and Energy Star labeled buildings already have higher occupancy rates and rents. A soon-to-be-published analysis estimates that rating policies could accelerate investment in efficiency retrofits and operational improvements saving billions of dollars in energy costs and creating tens of thousands of jobs. But, a number of challenges must be overcome, including updating appraisal practices and streamlining access to energy consumption data in tenanted buildings.

Accelerating Green Building Market Transformation with Emerging Information Technologies
Chris Pyke, PhD, US Green Building Council

The green building industry is rooted in the recognition that information about the achievement and performance of real estate assets can transform markets. LEED plaques provide simple indicators that can differentiate buildings from their peers based on performance and the use of specific green building strategies. Emerging information technologies, such as web services, pervasive sensors, and crowd sourced data collection, are creating new opportunities to scale up these fundamental concepts and accelerate market transformation. We can recognize and reward high performing projects, identify and assist lower performers, and potentially evaluate the efficacy of individual green building strategies. Some of these aspirations are beginning to be realized with USGBC's new Green Building Information Gateway—an open platform providing new tools to search, compare, and benchmark projects, collections, and strategies across multiple performance dimensions.

Data Analytics: the Next Frontier for Innovation
Chris Garvin, AIA, LEED AP, Terrapin Bright Green

A short examination of the larger data analytics industry and how it is transforming health care, manufacturing, and retail. Using examples from these industries we will frame the potential that may lie ahead for the real estate industry. Q&A will follow.

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