energizeBNMC began with an innovative energy partnership between National Grid and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to develop integrated solutions that will drive economic growth in the Buffalo Niagara region and position all partners as global energy leaders. This partnership represents the first of its kind energy innovation between a global utility and a community-engaged medical, education, and life sciences campus. It will define a global standard for an efficient, modern, high-quality and customer-driven energy platform, establishing a benchmark for global innovation, energy efficiency, and modern energy management.
View media clips from the November 2011 launch.
This partnership is based on a holistic, community approach involving input from all of the BNMC stakeholders, including Kaleida Health, the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; as well Global Energy Institute, neighborhood residents, and business owners.
energizeBNMC will initially address BNMC’s growth challenges such as increasing energy needs and transportation constraints, while helping institutions and the surrounding neighborhoods save money and create jobs through the promotion of economic development, innovation, and public health.
The partnership’s stakeholders played a significant role in helping National Grid and the BNMC identify five opportunity areas for the partnership:
- Cost-cutting energy efficiency
- Fostering economic growth
- Alternative energy and transportation
- Community learning hub
- Health & energy innovation
Initiatives within these opportunity areas include a platform for grid modernization, whole-building and cross-institution energy efficiency initiatives, outreach and education, and community engagement.
The first initiative of this partnership is the creation of the Powerhouse on Washington, a model energy home. We will renovate and retrofit this 6000 sq.ft., two-story brick home at 945 Washington Street on the BNMC to demonstrate modern, state-of-the-art energy usage, efficiency, and management innovations. Download the smarthomebuffalo fact sheet.
City Honors School Partnership
The partnership is between National Grid and BNMC, and the goal of energizeBNMC is to work with the community to develop energy solutions that will meet the growing and diverse energy needs of the campus and surrounding community.
As this major project progresses, senior executives from National Grid and the BNMC visited City Honors School to thank students who took part in the National Grid smarthomebuffalo Challenge and to review some pretty impressive innovations that may be able to be incorporated into the two-story brick home that is expected to be fully renovated in a year.
The 97-year-old structure – which will continue to be upgraded as new energy efficiency technologies come to market – will serve as a resource for the community to learn about incorporating energy efficient products and practices into their homes.
“The ideas we’ve seen will be integrated with the audit we’ve performed, and these types of ideas will be built into the facility on Washington Street over the next several months,” explains Dennis Elsenbeck, director of customer and community relations in Western New York.
When learning is inspiring
Students – grades 5-12 – were invited to research, create and present ideas and essays, and develop proposals for energy efficiency upgrades, after learning in class about home energy use, the importance of energy efficiency, and the latest efficiency tools and concepts. They spent three months working on their projects and felt the ‘wow’ factor themselves.
Twelfth grader Marissa Komanski said, “There are ENERGY STAR® appliances that make it really easy to be environmentally friendly – anything in your kitchen like funky kitchen gadgets. You can also do stuff from your iPhone to turn lights off, you can turn the heat on and off, there’s zoned heating and geothermal heating. There’s a lot of really cool stuff!”
And City Honors’ principal William Kresse is excited about the future: “If we get this ingrained in our students right now, they’re going to carry it on for life. They’re going to insist on energy efficiency and the very best energy technology in our buildings and our homes around Buffalo.”
Working in the Fruit Belt: Pelion Community Garden
Organizations partnered with the students from City Honors School to bring about the transformation of a vacant lot located right across the street from City Honors, in the heart of the Fruit Belt on the corner of Masten Avenue and Best Street. National Grid, BNMC, and Groundwork Buffalo, along with the students, helped to create the Pelion Community Garden.
Formerly 4 vacant lots, the Pelion Community Garden was designed to engage City Honors with the community, enhancing their connection with the environment and the classroom. Features of the garden include rain barrels, a compost section, vegetable beds, flower beds, and a tool storage area.
Learn more about the Pelion Community Garden below:
Video by Dylan Buyskes, Onion Photography & Design