With a charge not to tear down Newark’s older buildings, but to rehabilitate them, NJIT research professor Deane Evans, an architect and executive director of NJIT’s Center for Architecture and Building Science Research will open Newark’s Green Future Summit tomorrow morning at NJIT. Evans, an advocate of sustainable building practices, also said that in the process of fixing and repairing people learn trades, skills and knowledge about the science behind good buildings.
“Sure rehabbing a building may not be as glamorous as building a new one. But by weatherizing and insulating still strong structures, the people of Newark can create a stock of commercial and residential housing with history and importance as well as usability. “Energy efficient rehabilitation of Newark’s buildings is a critical path to a sustainable, green future for Newark and its citizens."
Evans’ talk will focus on the importance of creating a new work force in the city that understands, uses and profits from learning, using and saving the city with knowledge of the construction trade.
“It’s important for people to know how a vapor barrier works and where to put it. This is knowledge they can use. Homeowners should know what advanced controls do and how to optimize them. They should also be aware that knowing how to optimize the installation of insulation matters.”
While these tasks are not as difficult as some would have you believe, he said, some skill is required to work sensitively with existing buildings. “Still, there is no big deal to replacing windows and doors, adding controls, switching out HVAC equipment and other appliances. Sure, these are not particularly glamorous activities, but they use skilled labor and give people who don’t have the skills, the chance to learn them.
Working in the construction trades can also offer many people from in and around Newark, a critical economical opportunity. “It’s a chance to create good local jobs, to develop a skilled and educated workforce – that will, hopefully, also stay in Newark, to improve the comfort, affordability, and resale value of Newark’s buildings. And, let me add, help save the planet.”
The two-day summit which is free and open to the public will highlight existing Newark sustainability initiatives and programs, present best practices from across the country and offer an opportunity for participatory dialogue to chart priorities and next steps. Registration is desirable.
Beginning with a commitment made at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007, the City of Newark has partnered with the Apollo Alliance, and other national organizations to bring together local community, business and government leaders to create a sustainability roadmap. The roadmap will be the subject of discussion at the upcoming Newark’s Green Future Summit at NJIT.
For more information about the conference, please visit http://www.apolloalliance.org/newarksummit.php