Adam Szlachetka, Steven Winters Associates
Planning and policy students at the Bloustein School are frequently asked to consider the ways that they can make the built environment better. Adam Szlachetka, a 2009 MCRP alum of Bloustein and Senior Energy Consultant at Steven Winter Associates (SWA) has had a career of doing just that. SWA provides research, consulting and advisory services to improve commercial, residential and multifamily built environments for private and public sector clients. The firm specializes in energy, sustainability and accessibility consulting as well as certification, research & development and compliance services.
The firm looks at both new construction and existing buildings, ranging from single family residential buildings to commercial office spaces. Clients often ask for assistance with Green building certification, either how to do it or just to have SWA sign off on it. They might also want SWA to provide information on energy optimization, how to measure it, and potentially make a plan for how to change and improve it. A newer service that SWA provides is accessibility compliance. They review plans, do field inspections and offer technical assistance.
The biggest of their three offices is in New York City, which is where Adam is located. The City is working to upgrade its heating systems in order to cut emissions, which is providing a model for the rest of the country to follow. Buildings account for 75% of New York City’s Greenhouse Gas emissions, compared to those from transportation which accounts for only 11%. Although multifamily and commercial buildings make up the smallest portion of the buildings in the city, they contribute the most to emissions. For this reason, they have been targeted by City of New York in order to make changes. To learn more about this initiative, Adam suggests student learn about the Greener Greater Buildings Plan and other City of New York porjects even if they are not interested in finding work in New York City.
Adam also suggested that students look into Passive House Institute US and Net Zero Buildings for recent research, and Urban Green Council, Green Home NYC, and Association of Energy Engineers NYC for ways to get involved locally. Classes at Bloustein that will be helpful are: Green Buildings, Intro to GIS, Statistics, and any other classes that will increase students’ technical skills.
Adam Szlachetka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. SWA has paid summer internships.