New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Being on your co-op or condo board carries a lot of responsibility, liability, and, let's face it, headaches.

From building repairs and maintenance, energy upgrades, insurance, lobby redesigns, accounting and financing - the challenges facing co-op and condominium board directors are endless. In this series, Habitat Magazine editors interview New York City experts to learn how problems have been solved at their client co-op and condo buildings. We take a deep dive into the issues being confronted, the possibilities for solutions, the costs, the challenges, and the outcomes.

November 30, 2022
Season 1
Episode 7

Taking Your Building’s Energy Pulse

If you’re concerned about your building’s energy use, and particularly if you want to lower it, you’ll need to pay attention to its systems. Not just when something breaks, but all the time. Technology can do that, allowing data to be collected so that systems can be adjusted and monitored for performance. Darren Johnson, account manager at Bright Power, an energy management company, explains how the smart technology works and how buildings can take advantage of it. Darren Johnson is interviewed by Carol Ott for Habitat Magazine.

To meet the high cost of maintaining condo properties, boards often have to make the hard choice between borrowing money or imposing assessments on unit-owners. Either way, there are decisions of fairness to consider and important operational details to work out. In this episode, Mohammed Salyani, a principal at the accounting firm WilkinGuttenplan, explains the ramifications of various options. Mohammed Salyani is interviewed by Carol Ott for Habitat Magazine.

November 11, 2022
Season 1
Episode 5

Lobby Redesign: Turning Bad News Into Good

One of the most controversial projects a co-op or condo can do is to redesign its lobby. One person likes green, another likes blue. One likes marble, another likes wood. Even if everyone can agree on the redo, last minute changes can cause tumult. On today’s episode, Louis Lipson, senior associate at the architecture firm Ethelind Coblin, shares the story of a lobby project at 785 Fifth Avenue in New York City, when last minute changes to a feature wall almost derailed everything. Louis Lipson is interviewed by Carol Ott for Habitat Magazine.

November 9, 2022
Season 1
Episode 4

Doing Double Duty On Your Roof

Roof space can be a lovely amenity in a co-op or condo, but it can also be used for solar to reduce your building’s carbon emissions. Tina Larsson, co-founder and CEO of the Folson Group, a business consultancy for co-op and condo boards, shares how an Upper East Side co-op in Manhattan managed to do both by making every square foot count. Tina Larsson is interviewed by Bill Morris for Habitat Magazine.

In New York City, Con Edison steam is the most expensive form of heating and cooling buildings. Co-ops and condos are choosing to go from steam to natural gas and electricity not only to slash their energy bills, but also reduce carbon emissions and avoid paying fines under the city’s Climate Mobilization Act. Michael Scorrano, managing director and founder of En-Power Group, explains how one co-op made the switch.
Michael Scorrano is interviewed by Carol Ott for Habitat Magazine.

October 9, 2022
Season 1
Episode 2

Water, Water Everywhere

Whether it’s caused by aging facades, construction defects, faulty pipes, or a roof that needs replacing, water leakage is a common problem for many co-op and condo buildings. Repairs need to be done quickly, but what’s a board to do if the leaks are caused by more than one issue? In this episode, Douglas Lister, president of the architecture firm Douglas J. Lister, explains what fixes should be tackled first, and what can be addressed later. Douglas Lister is interviewed by Bill Morris for Habitat Magazine.

September 12, 2022
Season 1
Episode 1

Boosting Efficiency: Plug Your Building In

As part of New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act, Local Law 97 places carbon caps on most buildings. Co-op and condo buildings are taking a close look at how to reduce their building’s energy consumption and carbon footprint — without going broke in the process. In this episode, James Hannah, managing director at Parity, an AI-driven energy management platform, shares how an Upper East Side co-op in Manhattan did just that. James Hannah is interviewed by Bill Morris for Habitat Magazine.

Ask the Experts

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

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