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PUSH Buffalo's Green Development Zone: a Model for New Economy Community Development

Sam Magavern, Skye Hart — Jun 29, 2017

2008 marks the year that PUSH Buffalo founded the Green Development Zone in Buffalo’s West Side. Encompassing 25 square blocks, the Green Development Zone (GDZ) is an area that PUSH is making more environmentally and economically sustainable. PUSH stands for People United for Sustainable Housing, and it is a non-profit corporation that uses a unique combination of community organizing, policy advocacy, and neighborhood redevelopment.  

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Energy Poverty in Buffalo's West Side: PUSH, National Fuel, and the Fight for Equitable Energy Access

Anthony Hilbert — Jun 16, 2016

Energy poverty, the condition of households that cannot adequately heat their homes, is a chronic problem resulting from low income, high fuel prices, and poorly insulated, energy inefficient houses.  In addition to financial strain, energy poverty causes severe social and health problems for people living in under-heated homes (Boardman 1991; 2013).  Despite its seriousness and pervasiveness, energy poverty has been ignored too often in the US.  Those that suffer through energy …

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A Green Building Ordinance for Buffalo

Donna Budniewski — May 27, 2011

All new building projects in the City of Buffalo totaling 5,000 square feet or more that are city-owned, city-financed or city/state subsidized should be LEED-Silver certified.  The City of Buffalo should mitigate its contribution to global warming and reduce reliance on energy and natural resources while improving the quality of life or its residents, employees, and visitors.  Multiple federal/state funding incentives and significant tax credits exist for going green.  Green …

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Green Municipal Building Ordinances

Donna Budniewski — Oct 27, 2010

In 2006 the town of Babylon, NY adopted a local law that requires LEED certification for “new construction of commercial buildings, office buildings, industrial buildings, multiple residence, or senior citizen multiple residence over 4,000 square feet”.  As an incentive, the town will refund certification fees paid by developers if a new project achieves LEED status.

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Easy Ways to Lower your Utility Bills

Sam Magavern Aug 7, 2008

The average home in Buffalo can expect energy bills of $2,267 per year.  An energy-efficient home in Buffalo will have much lower bills – only $1,451 per year.  That is a savings of $816.  Here are some simple steps you can take to start saving money on your energy bills.

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Greening the Richardson Complex

Sam Magavern Feb 25, 2008

One of the Platform’s planks calls on Buffalo to meet the commitment it made under the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to reduce its carbon emissions.  Buildings are the single largest source of carbon emissions in Buffalo, due to the carbon released in the processes of heating them, cooling them, and providing them with electricity.  The renovation of a large, old complex such as the Richardson Complex offers an important opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and aid …

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A Proposal to Create the Buffalo Green Land Bank

Robert Quinn — Dec 4, 2007

For many years the city of Buffalo has had far more housing units than households.  Buffalo has experienced a precipitous population decline over the past fifty years.  From 580,000 in 1950, Buffalo residents declined to 462,000 by 1970.  In 2006, the population had dropped to 276,059.  This flight from the city, a product of both suburbanization and the decline of the Rust Belt, has resulted in numerous vacant properties.  With a weak housing market and continued …

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Is a Green Building an Energy Efficient Building?

Steven Mindy — Nov 27, 2007

Is a “green building” an energy efficient building? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is “not necessarily.”  As the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) notes, green building rating systems are flexible, and buildings with poor energy efficiency may be certified “green.”  Accordingly, how do green rating systems address energy efficiency and what rating system is best suited to controlling operating costs in affordable …

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Weatherization: A Step Towards Green Cities

Rebecca Town — Nov 1, 2007

Home heating is a basic necessity that comes at a very high cost, particularly for residents in the city of Buffalo.  Weatherization is an efficient and affordable method for reducing energy costs by increasing home energy efficiency.  Existing buildings are renovated to increase energy efficiency and decrease energy consumption.  Promotion of weatherization programs provides the City with an essential opportunity to financially empower its most vulnerable residents, who are the …

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PUSH Buffalo's Community Housing Co-operative: A Case Study in Green Building Rehabilitation

Mary O'Donnell — Apr 19, 2007

Between March 2006 and March 2007, a group of community organizers at People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) used green building methods to create affordable, safe, and sustainable housing by rehabilitating a formerly abandoned four unit building on Buffalo’s West Side.  Organizations and agencies involved in affordable housing can learn from PUSH’s example and should replicate or support similar projects because greener and more affordable housing will benefit the …

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Weatherization Assistance and Low-Income Households

Constance Giessert — Apr 19, 2007

Weatherization is one of the most efficient affordable housing tools available to communities and residents.  Weatherization is defined as the practice of protecting a building from the elements (such as sunlight, precipitation and wind) and modifying the building to reduce energy consumption and maximize energy efficiency.  Traditionally, weatherization processes have focused on heating and cooling as methods to conserve energy.  Currently, however, weatherization is expanding …

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Home Energy Conservation: Affordable Housing and the Environment

Katie Woodruff — Apr 1, 2007

For low-income homeowners and renters, paying the utility bills every month can become a struggle.  Even with assistance from programs such as Erie County Social Services HEAP program, many find paying those bills takes up a large portion of one’s income, decreasing funds available for other necessities.  Finding inexpensive ways to decrease utility bills can save money that could be better used elsewhere.  One way to reduce utility bills is to conserve energy.  Not …

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Integrating Deconstruction and Recycling Into the Demolition Process in Buffalo, NY

Tara Stahl — Jan 1, 2007

Buffalo’s Comprehensive Plan currently calls for the demolition of 10,000 buildings over a period of ten years.  While demolition contractors may recycle a small percentage of the waste created from demolitions, the process generates a great deal of waste that ends up in landfills.  Many of the materials that are thrown away after a building is demolished are either reusable or recyclable.  In order to lessen the negative environmental impact of building demolition, Buffalo …

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Sustainable Roofs for Buffalo Schools

Andrew Zemrac — Jan 1, 2007

The Buffalo public school system, currently in the midst of a ten year, 1.1 billion dollar reconstruction project, has a unique opportunity to create sustainable, high performance schools.  Instead, the Joint Schools Construction Board has apparently decided to take a more conservative approach to the renovation plan, incorporating commendable, but limited initiatives such as updates to windows, lighting systems, heating systems, and exterior weatherization improvements.  This myopic …

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Vacant Land, Buildings and Facilities Asset Management Project

Rolf Pendall, Matthew Drennan, Susan Christopherson Jan 1, 2004

The purpose of the Vacant Land, Buildings and Facilities Asset Management Project (Project) is to develop recommendations for the sustainable, economical and productive conservation, development and management of vacant land, buildings and facilities throughout the City of Buffalo.  The Vacant Land, Buildings and Facilities report is a product of an effort designed to provide an overview of an array of related subjects and issues deemed important by Project participants.  The results …

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