Innovation Challenge Competitions

2020 Innovation Challenges

In 2020, the New York City Department of Buildings hosted the agency’s first-ever innovation competitions, inviting the public to submit ideas to increase energy efficiency among buildings and to improve building and worker safety. Launched in partnership with the Urban Tech Hub @ Company, members of the design, construction, and technology industries were invited to submit their ideas on ways to increase building sustainability and to modernize the development process in New York City.

Members from DOB’s in-house Innovation Committee and a special panel of judges comprised of experts from the private sector selected the winners based on feasibility, impact, and innovation. The innovation competition winners were showcased at the Department’s Digital 2020: Safety, Innovation, & Sustainability Conference.

Carbon Neutrality Innovation Challenge

The Carbon Neutrality Innovation Challenge launched to find ideas and highlight new technologies designed to help cut carbon emissions and boost energy efficiency in New York City buildings. 

2020 Carbon Neutrality Challenge Winners

  • HYDROMYX, INC.
    Hydromx® is the first commercially viable and academically recognized Efficient Heat Transfer Nanofluid in the World for hydronic closed-loop cooling and heating systems.
  • RADIATOR LABS
    The Radiator Labs’ Cozy platform is a uniquely enabling proprietary system of smart, insulated radiator covers networked to central boiler control.
  • WEXENERGY
    WindowSkin helps building owners reduce energy consumption, heating and cooling costs, carbon footprint and improves occupant comfort while deferring expensive window replacements which often carry paybacks of 75+ years.
  • ZINC8 ENERGY SOLUTIONS, INC
    Zinc-air Energy Storage System allows site owners to offset peak demand, reduce time-of-use charges, and participate in the value stacking programs and the distributed long-duration energy storage space.

Get more information on the 2020 Carbon Neutrality Innovation Challenge and see video of the winning Carbon Neutrality Challenge proposals.

Hack the Building Code Innovation Challenge

The Hack the Building Code Innovation Challenge sought ideas for practical steps the City can take to improve the safety of buildings and workers, and to modernize the construction process.

2020 Hack the Building Code Challenge Winners

  • AJUSTCO ANCHOR THREAD
    The Anchor Thread greatly reduces the need to drill in newly poured concrete by providing a ready to use anchor point available for use immediately upon stripping form work.
  • a ROBOTICS Company
    The Imager Robot allows for faster, safer, and better facade inspections. Easily transported and installed, the robot needs only two operators who can perform more than 4 drops per day on a typical 25 story building.
  • CEC ELEVATOR CAB CORP STERILYFT
    Sterilyft was developed as an unmatched risk mitigation system for the purification and sterilization of the interior elevator air to remove air impurities and pathogens from the air providing a safe and healthy elevator use for all passengers
  • T2D2
    Tool for autonomous detection and classification of facade damage and deterioration from photographic and video images.

Get more information on the 2020 Hack the Building Code Innovation Challenge and see video of the winning Hack the Building Code Challenge proposals.

2020 Innovation Challenges Competition Panel of Judges

  • Daniel Avery, Building Owners & Managers Association New York (BOMA NY)
  • Gina Bocra, RA, Chief Sustainability Officer, NYC Department of Buildings
  • Sean Brennan, Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater NY (BCTC)
  • Raymond Daddazio, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACECNY)
  • Anthony Fiore, New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services
  • Jonathan Hernandez, Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY)
  • Robert Holub, RA, Code & Zoning Interpretation, NYC Department of Buildings
  • Jill Hrubecky, PE, Investigative Engineering Services, NYC Department of Buildings
  • Shaji Joseph, New York City Fire Department
  • John Lee, RA, Independent Contractor (representing NYSERDA)
  • John Mandyck, Urban Green Council
  • Clare Miflin, RA, Think Woven - AIA NY Committee on the Environment
  • Patrick O'Donnell, PE, NYC EEC
  • Nick Petrakis, PE, New York City Fire Department 
  • Alan Price, PE, Office of Technical Certification & Research, NYC DEpartment of Buildings
  • Donald Ranshte, Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA)
  • Gus (Constadino) Sirakis, PE, First Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Buildings
  • Zachary Steinberg, Real Estate Board of New York
  • Wendy Wan, RA, Code & Zoning Interpretation, NYC Department of Buildings
  • Steven Zirinsky, RA, AIA NY