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Implications of A Data-Driven Built Environment

Implications of A Data-Driven Built Environment

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


It is clear both locally and abroad that the real estate industry is turning to metrics to validate and evaluate buildings. The reasons for this trend are wide-ranging. They span the need to adhere to new regulations, the desire to improve building performance through modeling, measurement, and benchmarking, and the aspiration to revolutionize building design and engineering to take into account user behavior and to maximize their satisfaction. These objectives stem from recognition by the industry that embracing sustainability will have favorable impacts on efforts to reduce GHG emissions and energy consumption, increase environmental health and safety for building occupants, and concurrently positively affect the financial bottom-line.

Independent of goals, the consensus is that metrics are the future of buildings. However, currently, every segment of the industry is looking at the issue from its own silo and generating reams of sector specific data. Without the proper tools, standards, and analytics the resulting overwhelming data tsunami could potentially lead to frustration and resistance to the market transformation opportunities created by the data's availability. What would be beneficial is a comprehensive view that identifies what each sector needs—operators, owners, regulators, bankers, underwriters, and tenants—in order to leverage all of these needs to move the industry forward, systematically.

In order to begin to address this, the New York Academy of Sciences is hosting this conference on the utilization of data in the Built Environment. We are eager to develop and mainstream the Green Building 'discipline' and integrate it into relevant subject areas such as data analytics and machine learning. As a first step, we aim to present a vision for what data we should be collecting in order to transform the industry. The final session of the conference will be a preliminary look at the analysis and results of the green building benchmarking data collected through New York City's Local Law 84.

Networking reception to follow event.

Continuing Education Credits Available

GBCI logo
GBCI CE Hours (LEED CMP Credits):

1.5 Hours per session
9 Hours for entire conference

For more information, please contact Michel Wahome at


Gold Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

  • Cisco
  • Linnean Solutions
  • NRDC


* Presentation times are subject to change.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

8:30 AM

Breakfast & Registration

9:00 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:05 AM

Opening Keynote
Didier Stevens, Toyota Motor Europe

9:25 AM

Session I: What kind of data is out there?

Moderator: Chris Pyke (USGBC)
Panelists: Sukanya Paciorek (Vornado), Derek Johnson (Building IQ), Clay Nesler (Johnson Controls)

10:45 AM


10:50 AM

Session II: Who are the consumers/owners of the data?

Moderator: Nilda Mesa (Columbia University)
Panelists: Jim Fletcher (IBM), Michael Zatz (EPA), Vijay Modi (Columbia University)

12:10 AM

Lunch Break (Bagged Lunch)

12:30 PM

Session III: What can we do now with the data? What are the current obstacles to achieving goals?

Moderator: Jane Snowdon (IBM)
Panelists: Stuart Cowan (Autopoiesis), Kevin Settlemyre (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab), Young Lee (IBM)

1:50 PM


1:55 PM

Session IV: What could we do with the data in the future?

Moderator: Chris Garvin (Terrapin Bright Green)
Panelists: Peyman Faratin (Robust Links), Paolo Gaudiano (icosystem), Arkadi Gerney (OPower), Joe O'Connor (Cisco)

3:15 PM


3:20 PM

Session V: How much is it worth?

Moderator: Greg Hale (NRDC)
Panelists: Ron Herbst (Deutsche Bank), John Gilbert (Rudin), Dr. Gary Pivo (University of Arizona)

4:40 PM


4:45 PM

Session VI: Benchmarking Report

Moderator: Chris Garvin (Terrapin Bright Green)
Panelists: David Hsu (University of Pennsylvania), Laurie Kerr (NYC OLTPS), Constantine Kontokosta (New York University)

5:35 PM

Closing Keynote
Lowell Goss, Loud3R

6:00 PM

Networking Wine and Cheese Reception

7:00 PM




Nancy Anderson

The Sallan Foundation

Victoria Anstead

Tactical Aesthetics

John Coster


Elizabeth Heider


Adam Hinge

Sustainable Energy Partnerships

Daniel Jordan


Pat Kennedy


William Sisson


Adam Slakman

Greenprint Foundation

Leigh Stringer


Michel Wahome

The New York Academy of Sciences

Jane L. Snowdon

IBM Research


Stuart Cowan


Stuart Cowan, PhD, is a Partner of Autopoiesis LLC, which applies complex living systems models to enhance the resilience of the built environment, communities, and organizations. He is a lead researcher for The International Living Future Institute's Economics of Change project to create new real estate investment and valuation models driven by better data on resource use, ecosystem services, and social metrics. He has served as a Transaction Manager for Portland Family of Funds, an innovative sustainability investment fund, and as Conservation Economy Research Director for Ecotrust. He is the Co-Author with Sim Van der Ryn of Ecological Design, a visionary overview of the systems integration of ecology and architecture, land-use planning, and product design. He received his doctorate in complex systems from U.C. Berkeley, and is a Lead Faculty in the Bainbridge Graduate Institute's Sustainable MBA program.

Peyman Faratin


Dr. Peyman Faratin is a tinkerer, with over twenty years experience in computer science and AI. He is currently the founder of RobustLinks, developing AI and machine learning technologies to assist people make sense of large, noisy and unstructured data. Prior to that he served as the SVP of Innovation at Strands Inc., building data technologies for retail banking and sports verticals. He has also held appointments as a Research Scientist at Computer Science and AI lab, MIT. He has published over fifty scientific articles in peer reviewed publications, served as reviewer for the NSF and won multiple competitive NSF and DARPA grants. He is a board member of number of emerging startups, as well as member of the Association of Computing Machinery, the New York City CTO club and a visiting scholar at Courant Institute of Mathematics at NYU.

Jim Fletcher


Jim Fletcher is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect for IBM Smarter Infrastructure. In this role, Jim has overall responsibility for the architecture and technical direction for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS), and Smarter Buildings.

During his career at IBM, Jim has served in technical leadership positions in areas such as networking, and pervasive computing. Jim holds over 35 patents, has published over 50 articles in technical journals, and coauthored three books. He is an IBM Master Inventor and member of the IBM Academy. He has spoken at conferences worldwide on a range of topics.

Paolo Gaudiano


Paolo Gaudiano is President and CTO of Icosystem, where he enjoys solving challenging business and technology problems for clients, while striving to ensure that Icosystem continues to be a stimulating, productive and fun company. He also serves as interim CEO of Infomous, Inc. and President of Concentric, Inc., two spinoffs created by Icosystem. After starting an academic career at Boston University, Paolo left his tenured position to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities with two start-ups, Artificial Life (as Chief Scientist) and Aliseo (as Founder and CEO). In 2001 he joined Icosystem, where he is able to nourish his multifaceted, interdisciplinary interests. He also continues to satisfy his passion for teaching through a position as Senior Lecturer at The Gordon Institute of Tufts University, and through a variety of speaking engagements. Paolo holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Systems.

Arkadi Gerney


Arkadi leads Opower's outreach to the federal government, regulatory research, and public policy partnerships with businesses, advocacy groups, and non-profits. Prior to joining Opower, Arkadi worked as Special Advisor and First Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where he build and managed Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national coalition of 550 mayors that Mayor Bloomberg co-chairs. Arkadi also managed some of the City's criminal justice programs and developed other national coalitions that Mayor Bloomberg leads. Before joining the Bloomberg administration, he worked as an attorney at WilmerHale and as a partner in a political consulting firm. Arkadi received his B.A. in Government from Harvard College and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

John Gilbert


John Gilbert is Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Rudin Management Company, and has served in these capacities since 1993. In this position, he is actively involved in most, if not all, activities of this privately-owned company, which owns and operates 15 million feet of commercial and residential space within the City of New York. Mr. Gilbert is Chairman of the New York Building Congress Energy Committee. He has served on several of Mayor Bloomberg’s Advisory Committees, including the Mayor’s Energy Policy and Sustainability Task Force, and the Advisory Committee for Broadband Deployment. John also is a member of the New York City Green Codes Task Force: Industry Advisory Committee, Green Light New York, New York City Investment Fund’s Cleantech Sector Group and the Mayor’s Clean Heat Advisory Task Force. He is a Board Member of Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) and a Trustee of the New York Hall of Science.

Lowell Goss


Lowell Goss is the Co-founder and Chairman of Loud3r Inc. Loud3r's natural language platform creates valuable content streams from large scale instructed data. Lowell has over a decade of experience in Internet product strategy. Most recently, he was the Senior Vice President of Product Development at iFilm, an MTV Networks company. Previously, Lowell was the Senior Director of User Experience for the Yahoo! Media Group as well as overseeing the design team for the Yahoo! home page, My Yahoo!, Yahoo Sports, and Yahoo TV.

Prior to Yahoo!, Lowell was the Director of Digital and Branding for Rare Medium, a high profile design agency for which he set up the Los Angeles office. At Frog Design, he oversaw client accounts for Ford Motor Company, Macromedia, Hewlett Packard, and Compaq.

Lowell holds a BFA in Film from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and attended the Interactive Telecommunication Program Master's program.

Ron Herbst

Deutsche Bank

Ron Herbst is the Global Head of Energy & Sustainability for Corporate Real Estate & Services (CRES) and Global Sourcing. He is accountable for Eco Operations at Deutsche Bank, including the delivery of our 2012 carbon neutral commitment. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Ron was Managing Director of Energy & Sustainability for CB Richard Ellis where he oversaw energy and sustainability services for Corporate Real Estate Clients encompassing over 42M square meters of facilities.

Under his leadership, Deutsche Bank has implemented employee environmental awareness programs, an Eco Efficiency Performance Management office delivering over $50M of cost savings, Green Building Office and Retail Standards, Renewable Power Purchase programs, Green Lease Programs, Utility Cost and Environmental Management Systems, and ECO IT integrated Real Estate services. Awards and recognitions include: 2011 International Leadership Award from the US Green Building Council, 2011 International Green Award for DB Earth Week, and Top10 global purchaser of renewable power by Bloomberg Corporate Renewable Power Index.

Ron leads the Deutsche Bank Global Eco Operations Committee and serves as the Chief Technical Advisor on Building Energy Efficiency. Mr. Herbst has advised and led the technical platform deployment for the KFW Global Climate Change Partnership Fund and the European Investment Bank Energy Efficiency in Europe Fund, totally $1.2 Billion Fund mandates.

Ron has a Bachelors Degree in Physics and Environmental Design from University of California Santa Cruz, and Master's work in Applied Solar Energy at Trinity University. He is a licensed Mechanical Engineer and LEED Accredited. He is actively involved in publishing and speaking engagements in the fields of Building Energy Design, Advanced Control Systems, and the "greening" of Real Estate Management and Investments. Ron serves as the Committee Chairperson for the Greenprint Foundation, an organization committed to driving transparency in environmental reporting for Investment Real Estate.

David Hsu

University of Pennsylvania

David Hsu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of City & Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. He studies how environmental policy is implemented in cities through systems of infrastructure, buildings, institutions, behavior, and finance. Topics of particular interest include energy and water, green buildings and building codes, consumer behavior, and how these are all affected by increasing digital information. Prior to academia, Professor Hsu worked in city government in Seattle and New York as a financial analyst and as a structural engineer and environmental designer. He received his doctorate from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Derek Johnson

Building IQ

Derek Johnson is the Vice President of Global Operations for Building IQ, responsible for delivering a revolutionary Building Management System (BMS) optimization technology platform and services that automatically drive the HVAC infrastructure to deliver the perfect balance of tenant comfort, energy consumption and energy expense specifically tailored to each client’s goals and infrastructure requirements. Derek has held diverse leadership roles driving innovation and operations within the advanced building automation, call center, electric utility and facilities management industries for organizations such as Bank of America, PPL Electric Utilities and the United States Air Force. Most notably he served as the Program Director for Bank of America's intelligent Command and Control Center (iC3) Program, delivering the design, deployment and operation of this ground breaking energy and maintenance management solution. His department delivered world-class remote monitoring, control and data analytics for over 3,000 Banking Centers in 34 states.

During his tenure with these disparate organizations, Derek had the tremendous opportunity to serve his country, community and coworkers, an ideal that he carries with him to every role he has the privilege to deliver.

Derek received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Swarthmore College. He lives in Hillsborough, NJ with his wife and two sons.

Laurie Kerr

Mayor's Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability

Laurie Kerr is a senior policy advisor for the City of New York's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability. As a member of the Mayoral Task Force on Sustainability, she wrote the city's preliminary framework for a sustainability plan. She has also contributed to the development of New York's greenhouse gas reduction plan, and has developed strategies for greening city government operations and private sector buildings. In her previous position, she was chief of sustainable research for New York City's Department of Design and Construction, the agency that pioneered green building practices in city government. Laurie is on the board of the New York Chapter of the USGBC, and is a registered architect and a LEED accredited professional. She has 20 years' experience as an architect in the private sector, and her architectural criticism has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Architectural Record. Prior to receiving her M. Arch. from Harvard University, Laurie earned degrees in engineering and physics from Yale University and Cornell University, respectively.

Constantine Kontokosta


Dr. Constantine Kontokosta, PE, is the Founding Director of the NYU Center for the Sustainable Built Environment and an Associate Professor at the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate, where he has won the University’s Outstanding Teaching award. He serves a member of the board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the United Nations Environment Programme Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative, and the Urban Systems Collaborative. He is also on the Executive Team of the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center, where he leads policy and finance research. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Dr. Kontokosta is the Vice Chair of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, where he has served since 2006. He is also the Principal and Founder of the KACE Group, a New York-based real estate development and investment firm. The firm is currently developing a winery designed to LEED Platinum certification and carbon neutral standards. He holds a PhD in Urban Planning and Economics from Columbia University, an M.Phil and M.S. from Columbia, an M.S. in Real Estate Finance from New York University, and a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering Systems from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and a LEED Accredited Professional. He has been named a Fulbright Senior Scholar in the field of Urban Planning.

Young M. Lee

IBM Research

Dr. Young M. Lee is a Research Staff Member in the Mathematical Sciences Department of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center, U.S.A. Dr. Lee received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from Columbia University. He currently leads an IBM research team on development of Smarter Energy Analytics for buildings and manufacturing plants. He joined the IBM Research Division in 2002, and has been working in various mathematical modeling projects in the areas of building energy, supply chain, manufacturing and service sciences and developed numerous simulation and optimization models for both IBM and external clients. Prior to joining IBM, he had worked for BASF for 14 years, where he had founded and managed the Mathematical Modeling Group, and led development of numerous optimization and simulation models for various manufacturing and logistics processes. Dr. Lee published 5 book chapters and more than 30 technical papers, and filed more than 25 patent applications. Dr. Lee has won three IBM Research Division Awards and a BASF Technical Achievement Award for his mathematical modeling work. His research interest includes modeling, simulation and optimization of energy performance of buildings and manufacturing plants, supply chain management, manufacturing processes, services, workforce management, business processes and emergency response operations.

Vijay Modi

Columbia University

Prof. Vijay Modi is leading the Earth Institute's efforts that cut across energy, rural infrastructure and development. He is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984 and worked as a post-doc at MIT from 1984 to 1986 before joining the faculty at Columbia University. He earlier led the UN Millennium Project (MP) effort on the role of energy and energy services in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's). Currently, he is focused on three projects: leading the infrastructure team for the Millennium Villages Project (10 countries, 14 sites across sub-Saharan Africa); developing planning and decision-support tools for infrastructure; and looking at the food-energy-water nexus in Indian agriculture.

Modi's areas of expertise are energy sources and conversion, heat/mass transfer and fluid mechanics. In addition to the projects above, he leads projects in: energy technologies for sustainable development; energy infrastructure, design & planning; solar energy; technology & intervention; adoption, diffusion and impact assessment. His primary geographic regions are India and Africa. Modi also works on projects in water (with fellow Earth Institute Faculty Member, Professor Upmanu Lall), urban infrastructure (through the IGERT program led by Professor Trish Culligan), optics of concentrated solar energy, and software systems for m-Health with lab colleague Matt Berg. He has authored or co-authored numerous journal papers, and served as the principal or co-principal of a number of research grants from government and industry.

Clay Nesler

Johnson Controls, Inc.

Clay Nesler is the Vice President, Global Energy and Sustainability for the Building Efficiency business of Johnson Controls. In this role, he is responsible for the company's enterprise advisory and integration services business as well as energy and sustainability strategy, policy, innovation and the Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency. Since joining Johnson Controls in 1983, Clay has held a variety of leadership positions in research, development, marketing and strategy in both the United States and Europe. Clay received BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a co-inventor on ten patents.

Joe O'Connor


Mr. O'Connor leads Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities Business Transformation team across the Americas Theater. He is responsible for driving business relevance with customers in the real estate industry. He is chartered with aligning relevant solutions and providing expertise in areas such as building energy management, safety and security with building owners / operators enabling them to transform their business.

He is currently working with several large development projects positioning Cisco's infrastructure as the innovation platform for the building industry. He was previously responsible for leading the pre-sales engineering team focused on delivering business value through technology innovation to Cisco's Fortune 1000 customers.

Prior to his 20 year tenure at Cisco Systems, Inc, Mr.O'Connor spent a decade in the Life Sciences industry in various roles across manufacturing, R&D and IT. He is a member of ULI's RPI Council, BOMA, USGBC and the CT Green Building Council. Mr. O'Connor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and is a 10 yr+ CCIE.

Suki Paciorek


Sukanya Paciorek (Suki) is Vornado Realty Trust's Vice-President of Corporate Sustainability. In this role, she oversees Vornado's energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives, including Vornado's tenant outreach, LEED certification and energy efficiency efforts and the energy procurement for Vornado's New York portfolio. Between 2009 and 2011, Suki led Vornado's efforts to LEED certify over 11 million of Vornado's 18 million square feet of certified space nationwide. Suki was also instrumental in establishing Vornado's energy efficiency capital fund in 2011. Previously, Suki worked in the natural gas industry, and for the US Department of State. She holds a Masters degree from SIPA in International Energy Management and Policy.

Gary Pivo

University of Arizona

Dr. Gary Pivo is a professor of urban planning, real estate and natural resources at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. Over the past several years his work has focused on the practice and economics of sustainable and responsible property investing. Recently, his 2010 article in the Journal of Real Estate Research, entitled 'Income, Value, and Returns in Socially Responsible Office Properties,' won an award from the for being one of the 2 best articles in the Journal over the past 3 years. In 2011, his study on 'The Walkability Premium in Commercial Real Estate Investments' appeared in the Journal of Real Estate Economics and he completed another paper called 'Energy Efficiency and Social Inequality in Multifamily Housing,' which will be published soon. When it comes to metrics, he has published several papers in the recent past, one on the criteria that should be used to measure social responsibility in real estate, one on the data sources available for doing so, and one exploring the potential for a new Responsible Property Investment Index, in collaboration with the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries and Real Capital Analytics. Presently he is involved in two big projects. One is a large-scale national study finding that sustainability features in multifamily housing greatly lower the risk of mortgage default. Another involves building a new online tool for the US Economic Development Administration that can help developers assess the triple bottom line outcomes of their economic development projects. Dr. Pivo is former Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Arizona, former Chair of the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington and co-founder of the UN Environment Programme Property Working Group.

Kevin Settlemyre

Sustainable IQ

Kevin is the President of Sustainable IQ. A consulting firm focused on enabling innovative sustainable strategies and raising the performance bar for firms, programs, projects and tools. He works extensively with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on advanced simulation tools, such as Simergy, the new comprehensive interface for EnergyPlus; Industry Partnerships and Programs, such as the Delivering Guaranteed Partnership program and the DOE's Commercial Building Partnership Program; Physical Test Facilities and Advanced Facades, such as the New FLEXlab Facility at LBNL, and Strategic Planning for industry relations and tool integration. Kevin's diverse professional experience includes practice in architecture, façade engineering at Arup, environmental non-profit work at Green Roundtable and the Nexus Green Building Resource Center and technology development with Revit Technology, MOCA Systems, and as President, IES North America. Kevin holds a professional degree in architecture from the University of Oregon, and has two masters' degrees from MIT in Building Technology and Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Didier Stevens

Toyota Europe

Didier Stevens is Senior Manager European & Government Affairs at Toyota Motor Europe in Brussels, Belgium. He is in charge of coordinating and leading internally and externally all lobbying activities in Europe for the Japanese automotive company with special focus on CO2 for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and other EU emissions legislation. He is the Toyota representative in different committees and working groups of ACEA (European car manufacturers association), FEBIAC (Belgian car industry federation) and a member of the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) Urban Infrastructure Initiative. Prior to his 13 years with Toyota Motor Europe, he was in charge of the European Internal Market introduction to Mitsubishi Electric. He is also Chairman of the Belgian-Japan Association EU Committee facilitating the contacts between Japanese companies and the European institutions and officials. Didier Stevens holds his post-university degree from the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium).

Michael Zatz


Michael Zatz is a manager with the U.S. EPA's ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program. In this role, Mr. Zatz oversees the development and implementation of activities aimed at improving the energy efficiency of a wide variety of building types, including offices, K–12 schools, multifamily residences, retail stores, healthcare facilities, hotels, data centers, congregations, and others. Mr. Zatz is also responsible for oversight of ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager energy benchmarking tool, which has been used by nearly 300,000 buildings across the U.S. to evaluate and track their energy use.

Mr. Zatz joined ENERGY STAR in February 2006, and prior to that he spent nearly 14 years with ICF Consulting, a private environmental and energy consulting firm. During his tenure at ICF, Mr. Zatz worked with governments and local and multinational companies in the U.S. and around the world to identify and implement methods for reducing the impacts of their operations on the environment. He has specific expertise in the development and implementation of voluntary public-private partnerships. While with ICF, Mike worked for 3 years in Bangkok, Thailand, where he designed and managed a voluntary program to reduce energy and water use in more than 400 manufacturing facilities and nearly 200 schools, while at the same time improving the bottom line for the businesses, and improving the learning environment for students. Mr. Zatz has an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. in Engineering and Public Policy from Washington University in St. Louis.


Chris Garvin, AIA LEED AP

Partner, 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.

Greg Hale


Greg Hale is a Senior Financial Policy Specialist at NRDC's Center for Market Innovation, where he is focused on developing a large-scale market for energy efficiency building retrofits. Greg works closely with financial institutions, governmental entities, real estate owners and managers, energy services and technology companies, and non-profit organizations to help build the energy efficiency retrofit market by: (i) making the retrofit business case clear to building owners and occupants; and (ii) developing, promoting and scaling various innovative financing mechanisms for the retrofit marketplace. Greg's work also includes an emphasis on energy efficiency leasing practices. Greg is a founding board member of the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation, and has served on the steering committee of the PACENow Coalition. Greg is a frequent speaker at national conferences on energy efficiency retrofit and finance issues. Prior to joining NRDC, Greg spent 17 years in the real estate industry, first as a real estate lawyer at Skadden, Arps et al., and then as co-owner and general counsel of a real estate investment company which acquired, financed, managed and sold a portfolio of properties throughout the western United States. Greg is a graduate of Dartmouth College and The University of Michigan Law School.

Nilda Mesa

Vice President of Environmental Stewardship, Columbia University

Nilda Mesa is the first Assistant Vice President of Environmental Stewardship at Columbia University. In this role, she works with students, faculty, and staff at all three campuses to lessen the environmental footprint of the University. Major initiatives underway include programs to promote energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, develop energy-saving IT strategies, incorporate LEED and other green standards into construction and operations, green roofs and the area's first green roof research station, promote sustainable food purchasing and dining practices, a surplus reuse program that keeps furniture and equipment out of landfills and makes it available to local not-for-profits, recycling and energy competitions and initiatives, and the development of energy-saving strategies to reduce carbon emissions. Ms. Mesa is also Adjunct Professor at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. Following her graduation from Harvard Law School, Ms. Mesa worked for the California Attorney General on enforcement of toxic management and natural resources laws. As an appointee in the Clinton-Gore administration, she held several positions, including as a member of the U.S. delegation and lead legal negotiator on the environmental side agreements subsequent to the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As Assistant Deputy for Environment at the US Air Force, she worked to reconcile training and airspace environmental issues with tribal governments, environmental groups and local business groups. At the White House Council for Environmental Quality, Ms. Mesa led an interagency task force on reinventing environmental review and permitting processes.

Chris Pyke


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.

Jane Snowdon


Dr. Jane L. Snowdon is a Senior Manager and Research Staff Member in the Industry Solutions and Emerging Business Department at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. In this role, she is responsible for developing strategies and driving research efforts worldwide to create innovative solutions for smarter buildings. Jane was IBM's Principal Investigator for the Energy Innovation Hub proposal led by the Pennsylvania State University for the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) for Energy Efficient Buildings, which was selected from among 40 proposals by the U. S. Department of Energy. Jane was instrumental in defining a partnernship announced by Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Economic Development Corporation with Columbia, CUNY and NYU for research collaboration to help address New York City's energy challenges. Jane initiated and successfully launched two projects on energy analytics for large portfolios of buildings for over 1,000 K-12 public schools in a major city and a university campus of 60 buildings covering a combined 150 million square feet. Jane is a member of the National Institute of Standards' (NIST) Smart Grid Interoperability Roadmap Building to Grid (B2G) Domain Expert Working Group (DEWG), the OASIS Energy Interoperation Technical Charter on OpenADR (Open Automated Demand Response) and the OASIS Blue Steering Committee. Jane received her Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Certificate in Manufacturing Systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a M.S. degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. degree with distinction in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

The New York Academy of Sciences

7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor
New York, NY 10007-2157

Directions to the Academy

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