Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Fireman's Fund Expands Green Insurance to Educational Institutions

Posted on Tue, Sep 07, 2010 @ 09:41 AM

insurance journal,green insurance,insurance,fireman's fund,green insurance policy,educational facilities,long island,new york,advanced restoration corporationFireman's Fund Insurance Co. is broadening its commercial green insurance appetite to include public and private schools, colleges and universities, and trade and vocational schools.

With Green-Gard commercial building coverages from Fireman's Fund, schools can replace standard systems and materials with green alternatives after a loss. In the event of a total loss, Fireman's Fund will pay the cost to rebuild as a green certified building. If the property is already green-certified it will benefit from a 5 percent premium discount on its regular insurance coverage. In the case of a loss, Fireman's Fund protects the school's green investment with coverage by allowing it to attain certification at one level above the certified green building level prior to the loss or damage.

"To meet the emerging sustainability needs of schools, Fireman's Fund will now offer comprehensive green insurance coverage. Whether the schools have built green buildings, made green renovations or want to rebuild green in the event of a loss, Fireman's Fund provides the premier insurance solutions for these financial and environmental investments," said Stephen Bushnell, senior director of emerging industries at Fireman's Fund.

As reason for the program expansion, the insurer said public schools spend $6 billion every year on energy, the second highest expense following salaries, while colleges and universities spend approximately $2 billion on utility bills according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has found that a green building typically uses 30 percent to 50 percent less energy and 30 percent less water, which can free up critical funds to support schools' core mission. USGBC data also shows that schools that have made green renovations save nearly $100,000 per year.

Going green also means attracting and retaining quality students and faculty for colleges and universities, the company said. The Princeton Review found that 68 percent of high school students are looking for a green campus in their search for their best fit college.

"Colleges and universities have long been on the leading edge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy costs and their overall impact on the environment. A green campus not only conserves energy and makes a statement on climate change, it also reduces utility costs which can make a dramatic impact on a school's bottom line," said Bushnell.

Tags: insurance journal, fireman's fund, green, insurance, green insurancegreen-card, commercial building coverages, educational institutions

Here In 'No Man's Land' (a.k.a. Long Island)

Posted on Fri, May 28, 2010 @ 01:11 AM
billy joel,no man's land,eric martin,long island

 

The first time I heard Billy Joel’s No Man’s Land off his River of Dreams album, I was seventeen years old. It was very early in the morning on my way to football practice the summer before my senior year of high school. It struck a chord in me that his song about one of the loves of his life was so “un-illuminated.” He really does not paint a pretty picture of Long Island with his lyrics. Backed up by very heavy drums and an almost unfinished synthesizer, it was the first song on the new album I had been waiting four years to hear. I didn’t exactly understand why he would choose to kick off four years of silence with such an angry song about an object of his affection.

A few months later was I able to hear him play that song live at the Nassau Coliseum on New Year’s Eve 1993. Billy kicked off the concert that night with it. It sounded amazing. His songs always sound better live.  But still, I did not understand the dark images he was portraying to his audience. That was over 16 years ago.

I have been an avid Billy Joel fan since as far back as I can remember. On my 8thbirthday my parents gave me the greatest gift I have ever received - tickets to his concert on my birthday. Since then I have consumed his music, much to the ribbing of my friends, family and co-workers. I probably have 30+ Gigs of just his music on my portable hard drive.  Even though I ate his music and memorized all the words, it was not until my early twenties that I shed my cocoon and fully understood his lyrics. I finally realized that they were not just words to go in rhythm with his piano. He was actually saying something. Still to this day, probably the greatest thing any fan of a band or musician can say is that, it feels like he is speaking directly to me.

I bring up this song for this post for a reason. I heard it today for the first time in a while, and it made me think about all the times I’ve listened to it before. In my opinion, as a whole, Long Island is still the same place Billy Joel was screaming about almost 17 years ago. Really to me, not much has changed. The skies over the Island are is still clouded with uncertainty. Go through the lyrics with me, they could just have very easily been written yesterday.

I’ve seen those big machines come rolling through the quiet pines
Blue suits and bankers with their Volvos and their valentines
Give us this day our daily discount outlet merchandise
Raise up a multiplex, and we will make a sacrifice
Now we’re gonna get the big business
Now we’re gonna get the real thing
Everybody’s all excited about it

We have turned into a society of gluttonous, combative “consumer-holics”, sliced up into a million demographics by the mainstream media and government agencies for their own profiteering. The “blue suits and bankers” have taken us down a slippery road of economic turmoil our country hasn’t seen in 70 years.  Our financial system epitomizes the “Needs of the Few Are Greater Than the Needs of the Many” idealism which has become prevalent in our society. And I’m ashamed to say, I was probably leading the gluttonous charge on a few nights, as we all have at some point or another I’m sure. New York’s government is Ineptitude’s Poster Boy. Everyone wants their way, just because it is their way, and nothing gets accomplished. Hopefully Billy Joel’s song Miami 2017: Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway does not go down in the annals of history as a prophecy.

There ain’t much work out here in our consumer power base
No major industry, just miles and miles of parking space
This morning’s paper says our neighbor’s in a cocaine bust
Lots more to read about Lolita and suburban lust
Now we’re gonna get the whole story
Now we’re gonna be in prime time
Everybody’s all excited about it

You just have to change the line about the Lolita (Amy Fisher) for any of the Dina Lohans that have tried to make themselves famous through the tasteless medium of Fake Reality TV.

I see these children with their boredom and their vacant stares
God help us all if we’re to blame for their unanswered prayers
They roll the sidewalks up at night, this place goes underground
Thanks to the condo kings there’s cable now in Zombietown
Now we’re gonna get the closed circuit
Now we’re gonna get the Top 40
Now we’re gonna get the sports franchise
Now we’re gonna get the major attractions

Billy grew up on the streets of Long Island. His parents were divorced. He knows what it is like to be an easily influenced, Long Island youth. Just listen to his song Captain Jack. That should speak volumes. There is nothing to do at night if you are underage on Long Island. Nothing but movie theaters and street corners to mold these young minds if you wanted to venture away from the TV or internet for a few hours. Kids don’t even play outside in the street anymore. I think my friends and I were the last age group of kids that played outside without the need to be setup on a “Play Date.” We would leave our houses at 10:30am and didn’t return until 10pm. There were always 8-15 kids playing the popular seasonal sport out on the street in front of someone’s house…not anymore. When he wrote this song, his daughter was still young…young enough for him to be concerned with what it would be like for her growing up on the Long Island he was observing.  And all these years later, much doesn’t seem to have changed. Maybe that is why Billy Joel has not written an album of new material since the last one almost 17 years ago. Maybe he is tired of being the voice of Long Island, only to have his message fall on the deaf ears of people who are blinded by his “Rock Star” status and are only interested in the photo op.

The Refrain and ending of Billy Joel’s No Man’s Land goes like this…

Who remembers when it all began
Out here in no man’s land
Before the whole world was in our hands
Out here in no man’s land
Before the banners and the marching bands
Out here in no man’s land
Low supply and high demand
Here in no man’s land

That’s a good question. Who remembers when it all began? Well, I certainly don’t. My parents were still a few years from being born when Long Island became the first suburb of America after World War II. The members of ‘Our Greatest Generation’ that are still with us, will not be around for too much longer. Take the time to ask one next time you are in their company. But I’m sure it was a time that was filled with endless possibilities in their eyes. Before all the Pomp and Circumstance and giant shiny carrots, this was No Man’s Land, vast sprawls of potato fields surrounded by bright blue water. Having just faced down the greatest evil the world had ever known, that generation of Long Islanders reached for the stars and landed humans on the moon among many other great achievements.

When I heard Billy Joel’s No Man’s Land today, for the first time since I was fully able to comprehend what he was talking about, I do not share his opinion of a dark and “un-illuminated” Long Island. Yes, shades of gray still cover the Long Island skyline, but in all its turmoil, it has created a Long Island filled with endless possibilities. It has made some Long Islanders start to think outside the box. They believe in their hearts that there has to be a better way to do things then the way we have been going about our business. There is a select group of individuals and organizations that in their own way have started to shine their lights through the darkness to lead Long Island into a bright and sustainable future.

These individuals and organizations are vital to Long Island if we are going to pick ourselves up and lead the charge into the 21st Century. Their work already has been instrumental in the progress Long Island has made into a greener economy. To me, Green = Smart. It’s also the first movement to promote the “Needs of the Many Are Greater Than the Needs of the Few” idealism that must become our mantra if we are to be an example for the rest of the country to follow. It is the first movement that is taking a look at what we have become, the damage we are on pace to dump on our children’s laps, and the first to realize that somewhere along the line, we are going to have to pay the price.

I would like to let everyone else know what I have seen over the last few years that has given me hope, hope that we are not really like the MTV-style society that we have become. This is the next Greatest Generation of Long Islanders who are poised to lead our region down the path to sustainability and be a model for the rest of the country and future generations of Long Islanders to follow.  

Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone - Steve is the Founder and President ofThe Babylon Project, and he helped create the Town of Babylon’s nationally recognized Long Island Green Homes Program.

Town of Babylon’s Sammy Chu - Board member for the Long Island Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC-LI) - He also helped create Town of Babylon’s nationally recognized Long Island Green Homes Program.

Vince Capogna and the USGBC-LI Executive Board - Vince Capogna, President, and the U.S. Green Building Council Long Island Chapter’s Executive Board have been instrumental in leading the charge in the green building industry on Long Island. The USGBC LEED rating system is the premiere green building rating system in the country. The purpose of the Long Island Chapter of the US Green Building Council is to mirror and advance the core purpose of the US Green Building Council locally. It’s also to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.

Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island - Sarah Lansdale was selected as Sustainable Long Island’s second Executive Director in September 2004. Under her leadership, the organization has engaged thousands of community leaders and elected officials to rethink, rebuild and renew communities across Long Island, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of investment, hundreds of units of housing, and dozens of new businesses.

Sarah serves on the Board of Directors of the Women Economic Developers, was appointed by the Governor to sit on the MTA Sustainability Commission, and was appointed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to the Suffolk County Planning Commission. She co-produced an Emmy-nominated documentary Farming the Future: Farm Life on Long Island. Sarah is a 2006 graduate of the Energeia Partnership and was honored as a Community Leader by the 100 Black Men of Long Island and most recently by the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko - Supervisor Lesko, in only a short term in office, has become a champion for the future of Long Island and The Town of Brookhaven by creating The Town of Brookhaven Comprehensive Plan 2030 and just recently his launch of the “Blight into Light” initiative.

LIPA CEO Kevin Law - Here are just some of the amazing things Kevin has accomplished at the help of Long Island’s Power Authority.

·       LIPA CHIEF KEVIN LAW, TO UNVEIL NEW FEDERAL PLAN TO ALLOW LIPA TO REFINANCE BILLIONS IN DEBT – WOULD SAVE LI’ERS HUNDREDS ON THEIR ELECTRIC BILLS AND LOWER THEM BY 5 PERCENT

·       LIPA Applies for over $17 Million in Stimulus Funding For Renewable Energy Projects

·       LIPA and Smithtown Schools Announce Largest School Solar Project on Long Island

·       LIPA Proposes 2010 Operating & Capital Budget Which Stabilizes Rates in Volatile Energy Market and Expands Investment in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

·       LIPA Increases Funding for Renewables and Creates New Solar Thermal Program

·       LIPA CEO Kevin Law Announces $12.5 Million Award for Rte 110 “Smart Energy Corridor”

·       LIPA Approves the Largest Solar Energy Project in New York State

RELI - Renewable Energy Long Island - RELI is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization promoting clean, sustainable energy use and generation for Long Island. RELI seeks public participation in energy policy decisions to encourage energy efficiency, use of renewable energy sources, and protection of our environment, economy, and public health.

Ted Reiff, Founder/President of The ReUse People of America - The ReUse People (TRP) are relatively new to the Long Island Community and not many people have heard of TRP or Ted Reiff. His not-for-profit organization is the leading building deconstruction and building material reuse organization in the United States. Through their efforts, The ReUse People have diverted over 260,000 tons of valuable construction and demolition waste from fragile overburdened landfills back into our economy. He will teach us how our old buildings are a valuable resource for other Long Islanders. With Long Island’s having only 3 working landfills, Ted Reiff and The ReUse People will be a vital cog in the wheel that will shape the future of Long Island.

KIOLI - Keep It On Long Island - KIOLI is a catch phrase. It is an acronym to be more exact. It is a philosophy and a movement. It stands for Keep It On Long Island, but it means many things.

It means keeping our money here where it cannot be manipulated by treacherous Wall Street investments. It pleads with consumers to spend money in local businesses that are owned by local residents, businesses founded by investments made by Long Islanders that result in profits staying here and circulating through our economy. It is a movement that dreams of providing our children with affordable housing alternatives and productive, skilled employment. It is a notion whose time has come, and kioli.org is where it resides. 

Now I can see what these organizations and individuals are accomplishing, but that is only because I am looking. Their work has not cleared out all the darkness. There is still a long way to go. That will not happen until the rest of Long Island can start to see who the leaders of Long Island really are. I believe that if Billy Joel could see what I see, it would inspire him to break 17 years of silence and write a less ominous album of songs about the land we all love, our home, Long Island.

 

Tags: ted reiff, the reuse people, billy joel, no man's land, Steve Bellone, sarah lansdale, reli, long island, building material reuse, green, building deconstruction, trp, green building industry, usgbc-li, Sammy Chu, lipa ceo kevin law, sustainable long island, renewable energy long island, vince capogna

Town of Babylon to Compete In Global Green Challenge

Posted on Sun, May 02, 2010 @ 03:28 PM

 

The town of Babylon, NY (a Long Island suburb of New York City) has been chosen to participate in a prestigious Global Green Competition organized by Sir Richard Branson.

The town is one of 15 municipalities worldwide chosen in the first wave the Carbon War Room’s Green Capital Global Challenge. The Carbon War Room is a non-profit organization aimed at identifying opportunities to cut costs and carbon emissions. It was co-founded by the Virgin Group’s Branson and six other entrepreneurs.

The challenge is a two-year program seeking to boost capital and resources into city-led efficiency initiatives. Babylon was chosen due to the popularity of its Long Island Green Homes program, which provides low-interest loans to town homeowners who wish to make their houses more energy efficient. The program has been used an example for other municipalities to follow.

Along with Babylon, participant cities include Atlanta; Burlington, Vt.; Charleston, S.C.; Chicago; Gainesville, Fla., New York City; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Washington, D.C.; Toronto; Vancouver, B.C., Canada; London; Birmingham, England; and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The competition is aimed at driving the cities to find ways to reduce energy costs, create green jobs and improve the quality of life for their residents.

“In this time of uncertainty around the ability to resolve our governments to lead the planet to low-carbon prosperity, it is up to businesses and cities to step up and assume responsibility,” Branson said in a statement. “Mayors are the entrepreneurs of the civic world who realize their pivotal role in the fight against climate change.”

The challenged kicked off at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and will run until the summer of 2012. Results will be announced then in London, home of the 2012 Summer Olympics. A second wave of cities will also be named by the end of this year.

Babylon town officials said they were psyched to be able to participate in a program along with such big cities like London, Copenhagen and New York City.

“Working with Carbon War Room, we will establish program discipline, uniform loan products and demand drivers that will result in unprecedented market penetration of energy efficiency,” Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone said. “To be doing this in the company of larger cities, like our neighbor New York, will be a major game changer.”

by Michael H. Samuels LI Business News
Published: April 28, 2010

Tags: long island, dki, green, green building, town of babylon, long island green homes program, advanced restoration corporation, green construction, go green, town of babylon long island green homes program

The ReUse People (TRP), Long Island Building Deconstruction, and Advanced Restoration Corporation

Posted on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 @ 08:14 PM

Advanced Restoration Corporation is proud to partner with The Reuse People (TRP) on all our Building Deconstruction projects to make the Long Island Community the Leader in Building Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse in New York and throughout the country.

By partnering with us, The ReUse People are able to expand into the Long Island market to promote Building Deconstruction and the salvage and sale of reusable building materials while diverting construction and demolition (C&D) waste from our overburdened landfills.

These services are among the first steps in the green building process. Furthermore, tax-deductible donations of reusable materials to TRP, a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, provide a faster payback and better return-on-investment than any other product or service offered by the green building industry on Long Island.

How The ReUse People (TRP) Started

The ReUse People (TRP) started in April, 1993, with a drive for building materials to help the flood victims in Tijuana, Mexico. The drive, Project Valle Verde, was planned and coordinated with the mayors of Tijuana and San Diego, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the County Board of Supervisors, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, Waste Management, and the Building Industry Association.
 
On April 23 and 24, contractors, other private companies, public agencies and the citizens of San Diego donated over 400 tons of building materials valued at $1.2 million. Twenty-seven tractor trailers crossed the border carrying this material in an unprecedented demonstration of bi-national cooperation and assistance.
 
The success of Project Valle Verde demonstrated the need for used building materials and the impact of this need on our already overused and over committed landfills.
 
The ReUse People started as Building Materials Distributors in San Diego in 1993 and, due to a name conflict with an existing corporation, the name was soon changed to The ReUse People.

Who Benefits from Our Partnership On Long Island?

  • All of us through a better environment on Long Island
  • Low income families who cannot afford to buy new building materials
  • Building deconstruction can also lead to the creation of new jobs and businesses
  • Building owners by virtue of tax donations
  • Architects, builders and contractors through better service to their clients
  • Reduced unemployment strengthens the Long Island economy directly as well as indirectly in areas such as retail sales and housing

While we obtain reusable building materials from a variety of sources, our own deconstruction efforts and those of over 30 TRP-Certified Deconstruction Contractors throughout the country contribute over 90 percent of them.
 
Whether you are an architect, general building contractor, building owner, or government agency on Long Island we stand ready to provide you with a package of benefits including:

  • Environmentally sound demolition (We like the words building deconstruction)
  • Building materials salvage
  • Advanced Restoration Corporation's skilled building deconstruction technicians
  • Tax donations for all the materials donated to The ReUse People (TRP)
  • Lower overall project costs
  • The assurance that someone, somewhere reuses the salvageable building materials generated from your project(s) on Long Island

 

The ReUse People (TRP) President - Ted Reiff

 

Prior to founding The ReUse People (TRP) in 1995, Ted Reiff was managing partner with an investment banking firm that provided financial services to young technology companies. Now, in addition to guiding TRP's national expansion program, he consults with private companies and government bodies on a variety of demolition and waste diversion projects. A graduate of Ohio State University and a licensed demolition contractor, Ted served three terms as board president of I Love a Clean San Diego and is an advisor to Urban Habitat Chicago.

 

The ReUse People (TRP) Long Island Regional Manager - Mike Yurish

Mike holds a B.S. degree in environmental science from SUNY Purchase, New York, and has been an amateur deconstructionist for some 20 years. He serves on the board of directors of the ReCONNstruction Center in New Britain, Connecticut, and is a licensed realtor and appraisal trainee in New Jersey. A resident of Connecticut, Mike currently works as a senior print technician for a major printing company.  

Advanced Restoration Corporation - Eric Martin

 

Eric Martin has been in the family business for over 16 years.  He is certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in Water Damage Mitigation and Advanced Structural Drying as well as holding his certification by the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) in Mold Remediation.  Eric has worked in New York City for 8 months after 9/11 cleaning up the building surrounding Ground Zero.  He also worked in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.    A Green Risk Professional from Vale Training Institute he is also a member of the Communications Committee from the U.S. Green Building Council's Long Island (USGBC-LI) chapter in charge of handling USGBC-LI's social media accounts.

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Advanced Restoration Corporation is proud to partner with The Reuse People (TRP) on all our Building Deconstruction projects to make the Long Island Community the Leader in Building Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse in New York and throughout the country.

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Possible Long Island Economic Benefits of Building Deconstruction

Posted on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 @ 08:49 PM

The economic benefits of deconstruction are substantial.  One of the biggest challenges to "greening" businesses is overcoming the false perception that environmentally-sound business practices necessarily will increase costs and decrease profits. Building deconstruction is helping break that myth. 

Old buildings on Long Island are an untapped valuable resource.  When a building is no longer fit for use and has to come down, does this happen just as all of its parts and components wear out?  Most old buildings have some systems and materials with useful lives.  The trick is efficiently identifying the materials and getting them out of the building.  When redeveloping a Long Island property, it is difficult to see the old buildings as anything but obstacles. Also, it is important to consider whether their contents and/or components may actually be resources that have net value.

You can get a tax deduction.  The reusable waste from your project could be worth a significant tax write-off.  You can donate your salvaged building materials to numerous not-for-profit organizations on Long Island and receive a tax-deductible receipt to help offset the higher labor costs that building deconstruction requires (versus demolition).  Advanced Restoration Corp. provides all of our clients with a detailed photo-documented inventory of salvaged materials for tax purposes. 

Building deconstruction reduces overall project costs.  Buildings can be deconstructed more cheaply than they can be demolished.  Building deconstruction reduces the cost of waste disposal.  For every ton of material diverted from a landfill, there is one less ton of disposal costs. To the extent deconstructed materials can be incorporated into a new building or space on the same site, the savings are two-fold-reduced disposal costs and new material costs.

Tags: economic benefits, green, green building, advanced restoration corporation, building deconstruction, building deconstruction long island, economic benefits of building deconstruction, green construction, build green, sustainable practices, c & d waste, tax donation

Building Deconstruction On Long Island

Posted on Thu, Feb 04, 2010 @ 09:15 PM

What Is Building Deconstruction?

Building deconstruction is the systematic dismantlement of building materials and building components, specifically for re-use, recycling, and waste management.  It differs from demolition where a site is cleared of its building materials by the most expedient means and a majority of the demolished materials are hauled to a landfill for disposal. 

Building deconstruction is also referred to as "construction in reverse" or "Last On, First Off (LOFO) Construction".  Deconstruction is new by name, but not by practice, as the recovery and reuse of materials in order to build new structures is as old as buildings themselves. Reuse of materials might be considered one of the "original" green building techniques, along with the use of local materials.

In the pre-industrial era, building material conservation was driven by the high intensity of the labor effort required to harvest and prepare them. Reuse of materials provided an economic advantage. In the mid-to-late 20th century, the emergence of machine-made and mass-produced materials, chemically complicated materials, and the relatively low cost of oil allowed this basic idea of "waste not, want not" to fall from usage in the creation of built environment. 

Buildings, like everything, have a life-cycle. Deconstruction focuses on giving the building materials within a building a new life once the building as a whole can no longer continue.

Building materials and components within old buildings may still be valuable, sometimes more valuable than at the time the building was constructed.  Deconstruction is a method of harvesting what is commonly considered "waste" and reclaiming it into useful building material.  In the process, Advanced Restoration Corp. seeks to recycle or reclaim for re-use a majority of the structure, save the property owner expensive debris hauling and disposal costs, and enable the donors to earn a significant tax deduction for their donations.

For More Information Please Visit Our Other Web Pages:

Deconstruction: The 1st Phase In Sustainable Building

Deconstructing Construction and Demolition (C & D) Waste

Long Island's Economic Benefits of Building Deconstruction

Long Island's Environmental Benefits of Building Deconstruction

Long Island's Social and Community Benefits

 

 

 

Tags: long island green homes, long island, green, green building, advanced restoration, advanced restoration corporation, environment, building deconstruction, building deconstruction long island, green construction, build green, sustainable practices

Town of Babylon - Long Island Green Homes Program

Posted on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 @ 11:44 AM

Town of Babylon's Long Island Green Homes featured on CNN

 

 

Tags: long island green homes, long island, green, town of babylon, advanced restoration, town of babylon long island green homes program

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