Build It Green!NYC History
Build It Green! NYC is a program in partnership with Community Environmental Center. Community Environmental Center (CEC) was established as a not-for-profit organization in 1994 to assist people throughout the New York metropolitan area in achieving a healthier, more affordable life by improving their home and community environments with educational and technical assistance services. Since its inception, CEC has improved housing for over 190,000 people through its work installing energy efficiency measures, such as new boilers and windows, in low income housing throughout New York City (NYC). As a result New York State has saved more than $180 million in energy consumption.
In the last ten years of service, CEC has implemented energy conservation measures within 60,000 housing units, grossing annual savings of 675 billion btu’s of energy and 96 giga watts of electricity. In addition, CEC has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 83,000 tons, and statistics indicate that we have saved more than one hundred and eighty million dollars in gas and electricity consumption for low-income households.
In June of 2003, CEC opened “Solar One” at Stuyvesant Cove Park, the first solar powered building in NYC. Stuyvesant Cove Park is a well-managed, two-acre public park that runs along Manhattan’s East River. CEC was placed in charge of its long-term maintenance in exchange for the opportunity to create a solar-powered environmental education center. The park and education center have been open since early 2002 and draws visitors from the local community, NYC, the entire country, and from other nations. After operating expenses, all profits from Build It Green!NYC are used to augment the funding of Solar One. More can be read about Solar One at their website: www.solar1.org. We believe that Solar One’s programs - facilitating energy conservation, promoting renewable energy use, and educating the general public on ecological issues, will immensely benefit our communities, our city and our world.
In 2005, CEC secured a large grant from the Durst Foundation for what was to be the beginning of Build It Green!NYC. This included a temporary storage space and a contract from the Durst Organization for deconstruction services. CEC’s 10-person crew undertook the skim deconstruction of 5 buildings in midtown Manhattan, comprised of approximately 55,000 square feet of mixed-use space. CEC’s work yielded over 70 tons of materials salvaged for reuse and recycling that would have been landfilled. CEC initially sold materials from the deconstruction job and the storage space. Since the temporary facility could only receive a limited number of customers, CEC relocated the materials to a larger and more accessible facility in Astoria, New York (Queens County). Build It Green!NYC now operates in an 35,000 sq ft warehouse at 3-17 26th Ave in Astoria, Queens and a second location at 69 9th St. in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Customers and suppliers include the business community (e.g. general contractors, plumbing and electrical contractors, theatre and film companies, commercial and residential property developers, building managers, and artisans), city agencies, homeowners and long-term renters alike.