NEW YORK CITY-For years, New York builders were slow to embrace the idea of green buildings, but that is abruptly changing. The city, home to one of the nation’s strongest commercial real estate markets, is now becoming one of the greenest cities in America.

The term “Green Buildings” has been used with increasing frequency in the city’s growing market and although the term dates back a few decades, the Hearst Tower stands out as the beginning of the green movement, setting standards that many developers are soon to follow. With its architectural distinctiveness and pioneering engineering systems technology, the Hearst Tower made headlines in New York City as the first building in New York City to receive a Gold LEED rating for its core and shell interiors.

More than 70 attendees have signed up so far for an event that will focus on this burgeoning green building movement. Real Estate Media’s RealShare Conference Series and Real Estate New York magazine team up to host the breakfast information and networking event on Sept. 5th at the Harvard Club, located at 27 W. 44th St.

“The Greening of New York City Commercial Real Estate: Making a Profit While Making a Difference” will focus on how building owners, investors and developers can both better their ROI and the environment by adopting green buildings standards on both new developments and existing buildings. Specific topics to be addressed will include LEED ratings, breaking down the costs of green improvements and designs and how to get them financed, how improvements can add resale value to an asset, how long-term cost savings can be realized via building features including HVAC, lighting and construction materials, and how brokers can position themselves to gain new agency or tenant rep assignments through understanding this issue.

Following an opening address by Fiona Cousins, chair of the New York Chapter of the US Green Building Council, who is a leading voice in converging green building/commercial real estate arena, a panel comprised of stakeholders from the owner/developer, tenant, broker, architect and consultant worlds will discuss where this growing trend is now and what to look for over the next six months.

Robert Friedman, president and CEO of GVA Williams will moderate the discussion. Panelists include: Steve Piguet, director of sustainability at Tishman Speyer; Stephen Rizzo, director of CodeGreen; Michael Gubbins, VP and director of residential management at Albanese Organization Inc.; Steven Winter, founder of Steven Winter Associates Inc.; Nick Stolatis, director of asset management at TIAA-CREF.

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