NYC Launches Innovation Center for Green Building Technology

NYC Launches Innovation Center for Green Building Technology

The city of New York is working to establish an Urban Technology Innovation Center at Columbia University in an effort to boost development and commercialization of green building technology by taking it out of the lab and providing avenues for real-world tests of new products and solutions.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, the City University of New York and Columbia -- all of which are kicking in funds to establish the center -- are collaborating on the project. The center also would offer building owners, tech companies, utilities, financial institutions and other stakeholders sponsorship and membership opportunities at amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 annually.

The center is intended to:

  • Provide companies with opportunities to test their innovations in operational building. In exchange participating building owners would be eligible to deploy the technologies at discounted rates.
  • Develop an information and data clearinghouse to track building technology costs, benefits and lessons learned from deployments.
  • Promote stakeholder dialogue among private sector and academic institutions on green building entrepreneurship, financing and related challenges in New York City. 

For example, IBM plans to collaborate with the center to "apply advanced computing technology -- such as cloud computing, real-time analytics, and supercomputing -- to help make New York City a global leader in deploying smart-building technologies," Dr. Katherine Frase, vice president for IBM Research, said in a statement last week. "This approach will help building owners in the city increase the attractiveness, efficiency and sustainability of their real estate through significant improvements in how they use energy, water and other resources."

New York has a goal of reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030 and cutting municipal government emissions by 30 percent by 2017. The city's vision for a sustainable future and the strategy to achieve it are laid out in PlaNYC, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled on Earth Day in 2007.

"We will never meet the ambitious carbon reduction goals in PlaNYC unless we reduce the emissions from New York's one million existing buildings," Bloomberg said in a statement. "By bringing together New York City's business innovators, academics and building owners, the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center will capitalize on some of our city's greatest strengths, creating jobs and helping realize our vision of a greener, greater New York."


Image by Edward Reed via NYC.gov.