Volunteers came together to cool the rooftop of the Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) in order to decrease energy consumption – in an effort to green Queens.

The event was held on Saturday, April 30 on the roof of SCS, located at 43-31 39th Street in Sunnyside.

“As a city-designated Cooling Center, we at Sunnyside Community Services certainly know the importance of ‘keeping our cool,’” said Judy Zangwill, executive director at SCS. “This exciting initiative will not only reduce our energy use and save money, but also help improve air quality so that everyone in the community can breathe easier.”

The SCS collaborated with NYC oCoolRoofs, NYC Service, NYC Department of Buildings, and Green City Force to cool New York City’s rooftops.

“Last year, we coated more than 1,000,000 square feet of rooftop to improve the quality of life throughout New York City, and we’re not stopping there,” said Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri. “We are thrilled that Sunnyside Community Services is joining this effort by coating their rooftop, which will reduce their energy usage and help to cool our city.”

The volunteers applied a reflective white coating to the rooftop of the SCS, which according to the NYC oCoolRoofs initiative program reduces energy use, cooling costs and carbon emissions.

“We could never achieve our ambitious goals for coating New York City’s rooftops without the power of volunteers,” said Diahann Billings-Burford of NYC Service. “By coating the roof of the Sunnyside Community Services building, the volunteers helped to reduce the community organization’s cooling costs, freeing up resources that can be used for delivering more services to community members.”

As outlined in the PlaNYC, the city’s comprehensive sustainability plan, these actions would decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

“The city’s research showed that applying a white roof coating to older buildings can save up to 8 or 9 cents in electricity per square foot per year, and both costs and savings are likely to rise in the future. Under the right circumstances, the investment in white roof coating will pay for itself in less than three years through lower air conditioning bills, and permanently lower bills after that,” said Dan Miner, Senior Vice President of the Long Island City Business Development Corporation (LICBDC). “If you own the building that your business occupies, it was built before 1980, is only one or two stories tall, and has a black tar roof, you fit the profile.”

According to the SCS, during the Queens green event the volunteers transformed 14,000 square feet of absorbing tar into a glistening, reflective surface.

“We can all make a meaningful environmental impact by making small, simple, cumulative changes,” said Zangwill. “I’m pleased that Sunnyside Community Services is in the forefront of fostering positive change and sustainability for our community and beyond. And I would like to thank those who work ‘behind the scenes’ to provide the opportunity to green a little more of Queens — Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer for recommending SCS as a oCoolRoof site, and the Long Island City Business Development Corporation for spreading the word to the residents and businesses of western Queens.”

“On behalf of NYC Service, a big thank you to the volunteers for helping the Sunnyside community and the environment as a whole,” Billings-Burford said.

For more information on saving energy please visit www.scsny.org, NYC oCoolRoofs partnership program at www.nyc.gov/coolroofs, or www.licbdc.org.

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