Baruch College’s Newman Real Estate Institute Awarded $422,528 Federal Grant to Provide Online Certificate Programs in Energy Efficiency for Building Managers

Additional $50,000 Grant from New York State Also Awarded; Newman Institute Only Grant Recipient in New York City

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NEW YORK, NY, June 30, 2010 – The Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute of Baruch College, City University of New York, has been awarded a 2-year, $422,528 grant by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to design and deliver an online certificate program for commercial building operators, property managers and portfolio asset managers that will equip them to plan a path toward net zero energy-consuming building operations. Baruch College is one of 18 colleges and universities selected, and the only recipient of any kind based in New York City.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will contribute an additional $50,000, for a total of $472,528 in funding. The CUNY Building Performance Lab (BPL) is partnering with the Newman Institute on the project.

The DOE grant is one of 58, totaling over $76 million in federal stimulus funds, announced by DOE Secretary Steven Chu on June 17. The federal grants will support advanced energy-efficient building technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial building personnel.

Baruch College’s Benchmark Green certificate program will comprise three 15-hour courses – Energy Efficiency Management and Improvement, Introduction to Advanced Energy Technologies, and Building System Synergies and Integrations – designed to develop students’ strategic problem-solving skills to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The course will use web-based instructional technology that provides students numerous communication tools and features and facilitates timely instructor feedback.

“The Newman Institute at Baruch College has long been an advocate for sustainable buildings and building management and has a wealth of knowledge and resources to apply to the launch of the Benchmark Green certificate program,” said Stan Altman, President of Baruch College.  

The DOE proposal evaluation process was prolonged and rigorous; the Newman Institute submitted its application almost 10 months ago. Additionally, the grant is for the total amount of funding that was sought and the Institute is the only real estate institute among the awardees, which include Fortune 500 companies and major universities – among them, United Technologies, Siemens, Phillips, Johnson Controls, Dow, 3M, General Electric, the University of California, the University of Southern California and Purdue.

A fundamental part of Benchmark Green will be collaboration with major players in the energy field and the real estate industry. In addition to contributing $50,000 to the project, NYSERDA endorsed the grant application and committed to providing further support for training deployment.

Other formal letters of endorsement were submitted by: Grubb & Ellis Company, a firm which sees Benchmark Green as “an exciting and timely response to a need we have recognized for some time”; Mychele Lord, President and Founder of Lord Green Real Estate Strategies and lead author on ASHRAE’s Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Buildings: the Business Case and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Office Guide; Time Equities, Inc., which offers Benchmark Green the “ability to test concepts internally”; and Urban Green Council, New York City’s chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. (Mr. Nyman is Vice Chair of its board.)

Termed “participating members,” these parties will help develop the Benchmark Green curriculum and promote it through their own organizations and their extensive networking.

“For commercial buildings, the energy goals of the federal, state, and local governments are aligned,” Jack Nyman, Director of the Newman Institute, reflected. “The challenge is to advance them, broadly and swiftly. We believe we’re ideally positioned to do exactly this, and we have a sense of urgency about our mission.”

CONTACT: Jennifer Pauly;
                646-660-6129;
                Jennifer.pauly@baruch.cuny.edu