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TRITEC Recaps: TRITEC Honored as Company of the Year for Contributions to Local Environment

Kelley Coughlan Heck speaking at the U.S. Green Building Council's Annual Meeting

Standing over a beachfront landscape of native plants designed to protect the sustainability of Long Island’s shores, representatives of the U.S. Green Building Council celebrated TRITEC last week for its role as a leader in ensuring the sustainability of Long Island’s communities.

The USGBC’s Long Island Chapter honored TRITEC as its “Company of the Year” at its 15th annual Building Green Dinner held at the Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center, a facility that, like TRITEC, is also praised for its contributions to the local environment. Sammy Chu, chairman of the Long Island Chapter, commended TRITEC for its Station Yards development in Ronkonkoma and its design to the standard of LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) principles.

“TRITEC has taken the triple bottom line approach to creating value with economically, environmentally and socially sustainable strategies that serve communities, which is what LEED ND embodies and why we are celebrating them tonight,” Chu said.

Executive Vice President Kelley Coughlan-Heck accepted the award for TRITEC and told the crowd of industry leaders and sustainability advocates that the company strives to be at the front of the battle against climate change and Long Island’s growing housing crisis.

With Station Yards and Shoregate in Bay Shore slated to open later this year, Coughlan-Heck said TRITEC is in position to make significant positive impacts on the region and its environment. This includes a continued effort to develop greyfield and infill locations, use sustainable construction materials, reduce use of fossil fuels and install renewable energy sources, among other strategies.

“We must be smart about where these projects are located and how they are constructed to help preserve and protect our limited green space and the waterways that we all enjoy and rely upon,” Coughlan-Heck said.

Nearly 40% of CO2 emissions in the United States come from the built environment, according to Coughlan-Heck. “We need to continue to educate ourselves. We need to continue to learn how to do better.”

LEED ND is a level of certification designed to prevent sprawl and help create more sustainable and interconnected neighborhood projects. Rather than focus solely on buildings, Chu said, LEED ND covers all components of a development, from the landscaping and infrastructure to transportation access and social equity.

“At their core, TRITEC understands the importance of LEED ND and sustainability,“ Chu said. “They understand the importance of where we need to go as an island.”

The USGBC also honored Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin as its “Public Official of the Year” for his leadership and energy-related initiatives on Long Island’s south shore. Clavin took a moment to recognize his fellow honorees at TRITEC and their accomplishments across Long Island.

“It’s nice to have a company that is concentrating on the environment, concentrating on the community and also recognizing the importance of our labor relationships,” Clavin said.

Opened in 2020, Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center is an energy-efficient learning facility built to net-zero principles, meaning it can produce as much energy as it uses. The wavelike structure is topped by 260 solar panels and surrounded by 6,000 square feet of native plants that filter stormwater and attract pollinators. Inside, the center offers interactive exhibits, audio tours and a schedule of public programs.

With the Atlantic Ocean in the background, USGBC Executive Director Paul Tonna encouraged attendees to check out the facility’s scenic walking and biking paths.

“I don’t think there’s any place in the world that is more beautiful than the south shore of Long Island,” Tonna said. “What a great place to celebrate doing business on Long Island.”