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City Building Performance Standard for Existing Buildings Focus of Upcoming Meeting

By December 5, 2023Ithaca

Cornell Engineering Students to Present Report on December 12th

The official adoption in May 2021 of the Ithaca Energy Code Supplement (IECS) marked a new era for the city. Part of the Ithaca Green New Deal (IGND), the IECS set out code requirements for new buildings and major renovations aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Beginning in 2026 all new commercial construction and major renovations will be prohibited from using fossil fuels except for cooking and process energy.

The IECS marked a major step forward for the IGND and its goal of community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. It left one key area in the built environment untouched, however: existing buildings, which make up the vast proportion of buildings in the city.

The BPS project students from the Cornell Engineering program (L to R):Akshay Rajeev, Gregory Sharma, Reid Fleishman, and Jaiming Yuan.

To help address this issue, students from the Cornell Engineering Leadership Certification Program will be presenting a proposed building performance standard (BPS) for existing buildings in the City of Ithaca at our upcoming quarterly meeting on December 12.

The team of students, consisting of Reid Fleishman, Jiaming Yuan, Akshay Rajeev, and Gregory Sharma, have been working on the project this summer and fall. They have conducted a comprehensive examination of the city’s existing building stock and the potential economic, social, and environmental impacts of policies that incentivize or mandate those standards.

The report provides background and results of the studies and makes recommendations for a green building policy for existing buildings that the students hope will be implemented.

Be sure to attend the 2030 District quarterly meeting on December 12 to hear about this pathbreaking project!


Student Bios

Reid Fleishman is a junior studying Information Science. He is interested in the intersection of sustainability, computer science, and data science. On campus, he is involved in Engineers for a Sustainable World, Residential Sustainability Leaders, and the Cornell Computer Reuse Association.

Jiaming Yuan is a sophomore studying Environmental Engineering. She is passionate about working with the built and natural environments and is on Cornell’s AguaClara project team.

Akshay Rajeev is a 2nd Year PhD student studying Atmospheric Science. He holds an M.Tech. in Earth System Sciences from IIT Gandhinagar and an M.Sc. in Applied Geology. He is interested in understanding hydroclimatic extremes in a changing climate and how it impacts human systems.

Gregory Sharma is a sophomore studying Mechanical Engineering. On campus, he is involved with the project team Cornell Electric Vehicles and the Men’s Volleyball Club.

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