Emerging Professionals

R3build Design Competition

Congratulations to R3build winners, Team LARC's Rayne Fouche and Larissa Searle from Queensland, Australia! See a video clip to learn more about their design here

Urban Green Council's Emerging Professionals are hosting their 3rd Annual Design Competition to provide a scalable model for resilient single-family homes in coastal communities.  As we look back on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, we reflect on the damage experienced by coastal communities around the world. For this competition, we are focusing our efforts on the local community of Breezy Point, New York, which is still very much enduring the effects of Sandy’s devastation.

This year's competition, R3build, represents the areas of Resiliency, Energy, Environment & Economy (R3) to be considered when rebuilding in a coastal community. Designs should also include a level of self-sufficiency to prepare for the uncertainty of public utilities and infrastructure in the wake of severe weather events. Urban Green Council has partnered with the Breezy Point Green Committee (BPGC) for this competition to establish an exemplary model for a resilient home, which can be used by a family wishing to rebuild in Breezy Point.

The competition tasks students and young professionals with designing a single-family home to withstand extreme weather events for areas most susceptible to increased storm intensity, frequency, and sea level rise. Teams should consider the applicability of their design to modular, off-site construction to further take advantage of time constraints in rebuilding efforts following natural disasters. Teams should aim to meet LEED for Homes Gold v4 requirements.

There is no doubt that most coastal communities will rebuild, the question is how to do so responsibly. In order to rebuild a stronger, more resilient community, it starts with the home; a comfortable, safe, and reliable structure that can withstand the impacts of severe weather.  This is where the roots of the community are established, and this is where the rebuilding of Breezy Point begins.


First Place: LARC | Bayside Bunker | Rayne Fouche, Larissa Searle | Queensland, Australia
Watch a video from Team LARC here.  

Second Place: Life Up | Zohaib Dar, Esin Pektas, Gokce Saygin, Antonino Scaglione, Demircan Tas, Baris Unal | New York, NY

Third Place:  B-Side | +3L House | Nicole Ceci, Christina Galati, Jenny Kim, June Kim, Emily Scott, Lauren Zailyk | New York, NY

People's Choice Award: SEAMS | Root3d House | Steven Burke, Michael Day, Erin McNally, Andrew Salter, Sherry Yang | New York


NY Daily News

Design & Trend

Curbed NY


Ben Bischoff | Founding Partner, MADE

Ben Bischoff is co-founder and Principal at MADE, a design-build practice distinguished by its integration of the architect and contractor at every stage of the creative process. Established in 2002, MADE’s work has been featured in The World of Interiors, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Dwell, The New York Times, and New York Magazine along with select book publications. Ben has presented MADE's work in lectures at Yale, Tulane, Mississippi State, and Kansas and in exhibition design for the Center for Architecture. Ben is a registered architect in the State of New York and holds a Master of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Richmond. While at Yale, Ben was awarded the David Schwarz Good Times Award traveling fellowship for excellence in design and served as construction supervisor for two years on the Yale Building Project.

Ashley Fallon, Program Coordinator, Breezy Point Green Committee

Ashley is a native of Breezy Point, New York and an active member of the Breezy Point Green Committee. After Hurricane Sandy she was accepted to attend the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative University. At this prestigious conference, she shared her vision for the sustainable future of coastal communities, and connected with other young change-makers from around the globe. In July 2013, she helped to organize the town’s first ever “Green Expo" in hopes of encouraging the community to rebuild with resilience in mind. Ashley is pursuing an M.S. in Environmental Policy at The New School, and works in marketing for Yelp, Inc. 

Thomas Phifer | Director, Thomas Phifer and Partners

Thomas founded Thomas Phifer and Partners in 1997 with the aim of connecting the built environment to the natural world through a heightened sense of openness and community spirit in his design.  This essence can be felt in his completed work such as the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Raymond and the Susan Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and the Salt Point House, the Millbrook House and the Taghkanic House, all in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.  Thomas’s buildings have received a range of awards including seven AIA National Honor Awards and twelve AIA New York Honor Awards.  Currently, work under construction includes the United States Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah and the prototype of a new street light fixture for New York City.   

Steven Winter | President, Steven Winter Associates, Inc. 

Steven Winter, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, is Founder and President of Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA). Steven has been at the forefront of the U.S. sustainable/green building movement since its inception. He has significantly contributed to its development as an industry, through the numerous leadership positions he has held. Steven provides strategic planning for SWA research and consulting projects, in addition to managing the firm's operations. Under his guidance, the firm has continuously developed and cultivated a range of client services in energy, sustainability, and other disciplines that have helped to improve the built environment since 1972. As Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council from 1999 to 2003, Mr. Winter led the organization as its membership and influence skyrocketed with the launch of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) program and Greenbuild.  

Lauren Yarmuth | Co-founder and Principal, YR&G

With over 13 years of experience spearheading the sustainability industry, Lauren is a recognized leader skilled at helping people, companies, buildings, and communities to implement and benefit from sustainability-focused solutions. An architect by training, She applies her diverse project experience and whole-systems perspective to enable teams of people to develop creative approaches to realize greater success in their work. Lauren is a celebrated presenter, educator, and facilitator. She is LEED Faculty for USGBC, and she teaches at various colleges and universities including as adjunct faculty at Columbia University.

Thank you to our sponsor, Environmental Connection Inc:

Read more about the competition and the Breezy Point community on The HuffPost Green Blog

Find competition updates by follwoing us on Twitter! @UrbanGreenEP, #R3build

Key Dates

Registration Opens - November 21, 2013
Early Registration Deadline (reduced rate) - EXTENDED to December 23, 2013
General Registration Deadline - January 24, 2014
Question Submission Deadline - February 10, 2014
Project Submission Deadline - February 18, 2014
Finalists Announced - March 5, 2014
Exhibition - March 12, 2014, DORMA Showroom (exhibited at the Urban Green Spring Member Reception)


1st Place - $1,000
2nd Place - $500
3rd Place - $300 

EP June Forum: Environmentally Responsible Investing

Event Prices: 
Free Admission

Read the event summary on our blog, Points of View.

Investment banks and portfolio managers devise investment strategies that generate returns based off of criteria and goals put forth by the client.  In recent years Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) has emerged as the go-to solution for the environmentally conscious client.  Please join the Emerging Professionals at The New School for our June forum as we discuss SRI with Louis Berger of Washington Square Capital Management and Colm O’Connor of Kleinwort Benson Investors.

Louis Berger
Co-founder and Partner, Washington Square Capital Management

Berger is co-founder and partner of Washington Square Capital Management, a NY-based independent investment advisory firm specializing in socially responsible investing. Berger oversees investment portfolios for individual, institutional and corporate clients. Prior to co-founding WSQ Capital in 2009, Louis worked as a financial advisor in the wealth management division of UBS, the Swiss bank. Louis holds a BFA from New York University and an MFA from the New School. www.wsqcapital.com

Colm O'Connor
Portfolio Manager, Energy Solutions and Global Environmental Solutions Strategies, Kleinwort Benson Investors

O'Connor is a portfolio manager in the Energy Solutions and Global Environmental Solutions Strategies (GESS) group at Kleinwort Benson Investors where he is responsible for the development of investment strategy as well as the day to day management of the strategies. Colm joined the Environmental Strategies team in 2006 as an analyst on the Energy Solutions Strategy and was promoted to Portfolio Manager in 2008. Prior to that, he worked at the firm as an analyst in the Alternative Investments unit and as a Performance analyst in the Performance Measurement and Risk Analysis Unit. Colm graduated from University College Dublin in 2000 with a Commerce degree and continued on to complete a Masters in E-Commerce. www.kleinwortbenson.com

PLEASE NOTE: Continuing education credits will not be offered for this event.


Please contact the EP Co-Chairs, Lee Beckman & Max Kaufman, at emergingprofessionals@urbangreencouncil.org.


Share your thoughts about the event! Tweet @UrbanGreenEP


If you are interested in volunteering for this event please contact Anne Sjolander at as@urbangreencouncil.org

This event is free (registration is still required!) for Urban Green Council Members, but there is a $5 admission fee for non-members. Your donation is critical in supporting Emerging Professionals events.

As always, networking will continue at our *mandatory* extended happy hour(s) at Reservoir Bar located at 70 University place (between 11th and 10th streets).

The Urban Green Council Emerging Professionals are a dedicated group of young professionals who work to create a network of leaders in the field of sustainability. Led by a core group of volunteer leaders, they develop opportunities for involvement through Urban Green Council to further generate momentum for the green building industry.

Special thanks to The New School for generously hosting our Monthly Educational Forum.

8th Annual Career Fair: Recruiter Registration

Event Prices: 
Urban Green Sponsors

Organized by our Emerging Professionals (EP), our Career Fair is NYC’s premier recruiting event for companies seeking recent college grads and other talented professionals in sustainable architecture, interior design, engineering, and real estate. We encourage companies in these industries and other sustainability-related fields to sign up to host a table. View photos and details from the 2013 Urban Green Career Fair.

Table Pricing:


  • October 9, 2014
  • 2:30 - 3:30pm: Setup
  • 3:30 - 6:00pm: Career Fair


Questions about the event or hosting a table? Please contact emergingprofessionals@urbangreencouncil.org

To request an invoice or to process payment by check, please contact Anne Sjolander by email or at 212-514-9385 x124.

Urban Green EP is excited to partner with the Sustainable Interior Environments Graduate Program and the Interior Design Program at FIT/SUNY to host this event.

EP Volunteer Day and Picnic

Event Prices: 
Free Admission
Free Admission
Volunteer + Picnic
Free Admission

Join Urban Green Council's Emerging Professionals to volunteer as part of Brooklyn Bridge Park's Green Team program to help keep Brooklyn Bridge Park clean and beautiful!

The group typically works on horticulture or park clean-up projects. Please wear closed-toe shoes and clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Volunteering is free and open to all, but space is limited. Please register ahead of time. 

Whether or not you are able to attend the volunteer activities, please join us for a picnic on Bridge View Lawn at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park to enjoy the sun, to spend time with old and new EP friends and to enjoy great food. The event is free, but please register and bring something locally-produced or grown to share with others and something to sit on; utensils, cups, plates, napkins, and some snacks will be provided. Look for green balloons to find us.

Self-guided tours of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s sustainable elements are also available before/after for those that are interested.

10:00am-12:00pm: Volunteer
12:00pm-2:00pm: Picnic

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Entrance to Pier 1 (near the corner of Old Fulton and Furman Streets)
New York, NY [MAP]

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Bridge View Lawn at Pier 1
Look for green balloons

Please note: This event does not qualify for GBCI or AIA continuing education credits, however you can apply it towards GBCI volunteer hours.

EP June Forum: Cleantech Startups

Continuing Education Credits

Approved for 1.0
Approved for 1.0
Event Prices: 
Urban Green Council Member
Free Admission

Urban Green Council's Emerging Professionals will hold their June Forum at NYC ACRE's new Brooklyn location, The Urban Future Lab. The lab is the home of an extraordinary community of entrepreneurs focused on clean technology innovation - particularly energy, sustainable infrastructure, water and transportation.  With growing commitments to environmental and energy goals at the city and state level, there is an increasing market attraction towards the cleantech sector in New York City.  Join Urban Green Council’s Emerging Professionals to learn from innovators and entrepreneurs at The Urban Future Lab on June 10.


The panel will feature speakers from the following organizations: 

HEVO Power is developing a wireless EV charging network for commercial fleets in collaboration with NYU Poly. Their technology reduces commercial fleet operator's transportation costs, provides more control of distribution operations, and relieves range anxiety. EV’s reduce fuel costs by up to 80% when compared to diesel, and eliminates the problems associated with plug-in charging. Simply put, their innovative charging network allows drivers to seamlessly park and power up.

Radiator Labs is an early-stage start-up out of Columbia University developing a radiator retrofit for steam heating systems. The Radiator Labs system allows steam heating systems to turn convective heat transfer on or off at each individual radiator location. In addition to saving up to 30% of a buildings heating bill, they grant an apartment owner direct control over their apartments heat.  Radiator Labs is the Grand Prize recipient of the 2012 MIT Clean Energy Prize, and is a New York City Greentech 50 company.

Sistene Solar  designs and builds handheld solar tiles that come in a variety of colors. We offer, for the first time, design flexibility, infinite customization and seamless integration with street furniture products, including bus shelters, information panels and bike share stations. They are the LEGO of solar - mix and match tiles to achieve infinite eye-catching designs. Sistine Solar is the winner of the 2013 MIT Clean Energy Prize (Renewables Track) and recipient of Fraunhofer's TechBridge Award (funded by the Dept. of Energy).

EP January Forum: Constructing Green Infrastructure in the public right-of-way

Continuing Education Credits

Approved for 1.0 CE Hours
Approved for 1.0 HSW/LU Hours
Event Prices: 
Urban Green Council Member
Free Admission

Join Urban Green Council's Emerging Professionals to learn about New York City Parks efforts to implement green infrastructure in the public right-of-way. The session will discuss technical lessons learned from construction as well as performance data gained from research sites.

Launched in 1996, the Greenstreets program began as a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation. The program was created to change unused road area into green space. Since its beginning, over 2,500 Greenstreets have been built citywide. 

In 2010, the Greenstreets program became the Green Infrastructure Unit, expanding their focus to active stormwater capture and partnering with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to build cost-effective green infrastructure to reduce runoff in priority sewersheds and reach water quality goals.

Mary Nunn, RLA
LEED Green Associate, Associate ASLA, Landscape Architect, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Mary is a landscape architect for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Green Infrastructure Unit. At Parks, she has worked on a variety of projects citywide with an emphasis on sustainable design and stormwater management. Currently, she is responsible for the project management and design of green infrastructure systems along the Bronx River and Hutchinson River. She received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Pennsylvania State University, and a Certificate in Construction Project Management from New York University. She currently serves on American Society of Landscape Architect's New York Chapter Executive Committee.

EP February Forum: Accelerating Sustainability at the Neighborhood Scale

Continuing Education Credits

Approved for 1.0 CE Hour
Approved for 1.0 HSW/LU Hour
Event Prices: 
Urban Green Council Member Free
Free Admission

Despite a growing trend towards green building and retrofitting individual buildings, there has been less emphasis to merge these efforts into a larger, cohesive urban environment. The Living City Block organization believes that the best way to achieve this is by implementing resource-efficient regeneration of existing cities at the neighborhood or district scale. This concept is referred to as Eco Districts and was originally developed five years ago in Portland, Oregon by the Eco Districts Institute. Cities as varied as Boston, San Francisco, Denver, Cleveland, Washington DC, Charlotte, and Austin have launched programs based on this concept.

Join Urban Green Council’s Emerging Professionals for a lively presentation and discussion on the potential of New York City’s neighborhoods to transition towards sustainability through the implementation of the Living City Block’s Eco District model.

Llewellyn Wells
Founder and President, Living City Block

Llewellyn is the President and Founder of Living City Block. LCB has worked on projects in Denver, Colorado; Brooklyn, New York; and Washington, DC. LCB is planning to launch new projects in 2014 in partnership with communities in New York City, NY and Durham, North Carolina. Llewellyn has recently formed a Micro Grid and small District Energy firm based in NYC named Urban Energy Systems Corporation. UESC will design and implement micro grids with community based partners. Prior to founding LCB and UESC, Llewellyn spent two and a half years as a Vice President at Rocky Mountain Institute.

Shelter from the Storm

Continuing Education Credits

Approved for 1.5 CE Hours
Approved for 1.5 HSW/LU Hours

Read the event summary on our blog, Points of View. 

If a power outage occurs during a winter cold spell, buildings with poor envelopes will face freezing temperatures indoors within days. And without power for air conditioning in summer, some homes and apartments will become dangerously hot. Is NYC ready for the next blackout? Discover the findings of Urban Green Council’s study Baby It’s Cold Inside comparing the resiliency of typical construction to high-performance buildings. Join the discussion with NYC officials, builders, and property managers about how to improve buildings to prepare for the future.

Heather Roiter Damiano
Director of Hazard Mitigation, NYC Office of Emergency Management

Paul Freitag
Managing Director, Rose Development

Nico Kienzl
Director, Atelier Ten

Romulus Petre
Residential Manager, Urban Glass House

Bomee Jung
Interim Director, Enterprise Community Partners

Design Competitions: The Sustainable Influence

Continuing Education Credits

Approved for 1.0 CE Hour
Event Prices: 
Urban Green Council Member
Free Admission
Design competitions today must factor in long-term solutions. Catastrophes such as severe hurricanes, flooding, and the constant need for improved energy efficiency have exposed weaknesses in the standard way to design and build.  Please join in for our March forum discussing how recent design competitions have revealed new solutions for new building technologies and design strategies for homes and small buildings.

Learn how the term Resiliency has transformed the way we think about building near coastal waters, and how affordability is approached for new construction homes in low income neighborhoods.

Each panelist has been involved in recent design competitions, each design taking sustainability into consideration, and some designs have actually been built.

John Clinton, PhD
Associate Professor/Founding Director, Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School

John has also served as Chair of the University’s undergraduate program in Environmental Studies, and was co-lead faculty for The New School’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon finalist entry (“Empowerhouse”), which won the competition’s Affordability Contest. Empowerhouse was subsequently reconstructed with Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. as a two-family home, and won the D.C. Mayor’s Award for Sustainability.

Omer Kalafatoglu
Commissioning Engineer, Skanska

Omer has more than 10 years of experience in construction in the U.S. and around the world. In addition to overseeing EcoBuild's operation and business development, Omer works as a LEED Coordinator for Skanska. In 2012, Omer was a finalist of the USGBC’s National Talent Design Competition Visioning Charrette, Most recently, Omer was the Public Vote Champion of the Operation Resilient Long Island’s 3C Comprehensive Coastal Communities Competition

John Nastasi
Principal, Nastasi Architects

John Nastasi is both the principal of the studio and a long standing design professor. An alumnus of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, a recipient of Harvard’s Rice Prize for Advancement in Architecture and Engineering and a 1996 recipient of the Young Architects Award from the Architectural League of New York, John has consistently and progressively set the highest standards for his work. In 2004, John founded the multi-disciplinary Product-Architecture Lab at Stevens Institute of Technology where he continues to serve as the Graduate Program's Director.

Chad Ondrusek
Sr. Project Manager/Environmental Analyst, Environmental Connection

Chad has been involved in the environmental consulting industry in the New York City area for over 8 years, and has worked in a variety of industry sectors ranging from sustainable development, to environmental integrity monitoring, to regulatory compliance. He has been involved with Urban Green Council for over two years. And was involved in the Charrette-style design competition hosted by EP, as well as the recent full scale design competition, R3build.

Steve Scribner
Architectural Designer, FXFOWLE

Steve has been working around the globe in the architecture and construction fields for over 10 year. His experience includes being a carpenter in Maine, designing custom homes in the Rocky Mountains and affordable houses for women in Uganda, and being project architect for sustainable new city in Nigeria. Steve earned a master’s in architecture from Parsons in 2011, where he was student project manager for The Empowerhouse, the New School/ Stevens Institute Solar Decathlon team.

80 x 50: Mapping Pathways to a low carbon NYC

Continuing Education Credits

Approved for 1.5 CE Hours
Approved for 1.5 HSW/LU Hours
Event Prices: 
Urban Green Council Member
Sponsor Member
Free Admission
Leadership Level Member
Free Admission

Read the event summary on our blog, Points of View. 

In December of 2013, the City of New York published a long-awaited 80 X 50 study that maps a pathway to reduce the city's carbon footprint 80% by 2050 (compared to a 2005 baseline). The report identifies and analyzes the four highest impact sectors: energy supply, transportation, solid waste and buildings; and outlines the most cost effective means available in each sector to reach the 80 X 50 target. Not surprisingly, buildings play a major role in the report- accounting for more than 60% of the carbon footprint reductions identified.

Urban Green Council is happy to partner with Green Light New York for an engaging discussion of the comprehensive report. A presentation of the report findings will be followed by a moderated discussion among some of the most highly regarded professionals in the field. Join us to discuss the role of the building sector, including the challenges ahead and the measures necessary to surmount them.

Steven Caputo, Jr.
Deputy Director, NYC Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability

Richard Leigh, PhD
Director of Research, Urban Green Council

Anish Melwani
Director, McKinsey & Co.

Jeff Perlman
President and Founder, Bright Power

Clara Bonham-Carter
Sustainability Principal, AECOM


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