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Green roof dedicated as tech lab

Bronx Times

A new green roof that serves as a laboratory for solar and other clean technologies found on many new buildings in the borough was officially dedicated at the Association for Energy Affordability.

The association that promotes weatherization and the training center for green-collar workers at 105 Bruckner Boulevard officially dedicated the new roof above its offices in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, October 19.

The greenroof includes solar thermal installations that will supply AEA’s hot water needs, solar installations that feed power back to the grid when not being used, and plants that clean the air and use rainwater for natural irrigation.

“So our new rooftop installations will save and produce energy,” AEA executive director David Hepinstall said. “They will be key demonstration tools to expand our renewable-energy training capacity and help our workforce contribute to greater energy efficiently and savings for all of New York’s buildings.”

The air monitoring systems installed on the rooftop will also enable AEA to study how the greenroof affects the environment, Hepinstall stated. Work on the planning process for the greenroof began in 2008, with the actual construction taking about a year, Hepinstall said.

The project necessitated the construction of an additional stairwell for a second means of egress, and required collaboration with multiple contractors, but will serve as a place where the organization can test out new ideas in weatherization of buildings and green technology training, Hepinstall said.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal assistant commissioner Daniel Buyer and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was preceded and followed by panel discussions on weatherization and green technology.

Diaz said he threw his support behind the project when he was running for borough president and is providing grants to any developer in the borough who agrees to incorporate “green” elements and technologies, as well as LEED certification, into new building projects.

“We are not just a comeback story [in terms of green technologies], we are leading the country in building greenroofs and green buildings,” Diaz said.

Diaz said at the ribbon cutting that he believes that Bronxites can be trained to install and manufacture green materials, creating jobs. Buyer said that the state has become a leader nationwide in weatherization of multi-family dwellings, and that organizations like the AEA have made this possible.

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