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MAS Conference on Preservation and Climate Change Opens Friday

Green roof at Cook + Fox Offices

The Conference on Preservation and Climate Change in New York City opens tomorrow. The conference speakers include some of the nation’s foremost experts on the preservation, climate change, green building and sustainability issues. The all-day conference on Saturday, October 16th will be kicked off by an opening lecture and reception on October 15th, and be followed by special tours on October 17th.

Panels and lectures include:

World’s Heritage at Risk (keynote): The varied impacts of climate change threaten the world’s fragile heritage sites indifferent ways, from desertification encroaching on Mali’s Timbuktu to repeated flooding of Prague’s medieval center. UNESCO’s Rochelle Roca Hachem will discuss how climate change is threatening the world’s historic landmarks and living cultures and what steps UNESCO and the international community are taking to raise awareness about adapting to those impacts in order to safeguard these precious places. This event is free for all conference attendees and is open to MAS members ($10) and the general public ($15). Friday, October 15 at SVA Theater, 333 West 23 Street. (Friday,October 15, 5:30 – Cocktails, 6:15 – Program, 7:15 – Festive Reception).

PlaNYC 2.0 (keynote): David Bragdon, the newly-appointed Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, will discuss how New York City’s sustainability plan will be updated this year and how New Yorkers can weigh in on any changes.

Historic Preservation and Sustainability: Where Do We Fit In?: Emily Wadhams, Vice President for Public Policy, National Trust for Historic Preservation, will discuss the challenges and opportunities for the preservation community in the United States in light of federal, state and local sustainability policies, and explore what preservation has to offer in meeting sustainability goals.


Case Studies in High-Performance Preservation Retrofits: Stephen Apking, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Jean Carroon, Goody Clancy; Jeremy Shannon, Prospect Architecture and Nathan Taft, Jonathan Rose Companies will present case studies highlighting the best practices in preservation and energy efficiency (Judith Saltzman of Li/Saltzman Architects, moderator).

LEED and Beyond: Panelists will discuss LEED, the city’s Greener Greater Buildings Program and how those and other standards that help guide and encourage energy retrofits work with historic buildings and landmarks. Speakers include Laurie Kerr, Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability; Richard Leigh, Urban Green Council and Stephen Tilly, Stephen Tilly, Architect.

Just the Facts: Quantifying Energy Savings and Operating Costs: Speakers will share the newest data on the environmental benefits of retaining and improving theefficiency of older buildings and how such work can result in reduced operating costs. Speakers include Patrice Frey, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Andy Padian, Community Preservation Corporation and Lindsay Robbins, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Learning from Other Cities: How Are Old and Historic Buildings Integrated in Sustainability Plans? Liz Dunn, consulting director of the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Randall Mason, Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania,will share best practices from other cities.


Warmer, Wetter and More Eventful: How Climate Change Will Impact NYC and its Historic Site: With 564 miles of shoreline, New York City is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Dr. Radley Horton, Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University, will explain the variety of ways in which climate change will impact New York City and its neighborhoods. Doug Adamo of the National Park Service will share modeling on how climate change will impact New York Harbor’s Gateway National Park.

Sunday, October 17

Rural Sustainability: Kykuit, Pocantico Center & Stone Barns: Touring key sites within the 3,400-acre John D. Rockefeller estate. MAS provides transportation from NYC.

Going Green in the Flatiron District: Architect-led tours of 200 Fifth Avenue (with principals from STUDIOS Architecture) and the architectural offices of Cook+Fox.

Lower East Side Boiler Tour: An unexpectedly fascinating tour of boilers, including stops to the apartment buildings Con Edison rate as the most efficient in New York State, led by Henry Gifford.

The conference and tours are geared towards policy-makers, architects, environmentalists, planners, preservationists and anyone interested in urban sustainability and preservation. Conference tickets cost $85, which includes admission to the conference (including lunch and reception) and admission to the Friday night lecture on Cities and Sustainability and reception.

This conference is made possible through the generous support of The New York Community Trust, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Richard and Julia Moe Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.