Can Dick Koral be
Koral, director of the Apartment House Institute, a continuing education
unit of New York City Technical College of the City University of New
York, is a unique source of expertise on energy conservation and nearly
every other aspect of how to run a multi-family building. "Dick has done
more for energy efficiency than anyone else I know," says Allen Thurgood,
1st Rochdale CEO.
Koral, a supporter of 1st Rochdale since its inception, confesses to being
an aging guru in the field of multi-family building operation and
maintenance. There are others out there like him, engineering technicians
who came into the operation and maintenance field around the time of the
energy crisis of the 1970s. And Koral is the first to recognize that when
he and his contemporaries retire, they will be hard-pressed to find
replacements. In subsequent years following the 1970s, low fuel costs
caused a decline of interest in energy conservation, and efficient
operation and maintenance, he says.
Now that the world is re-awakening to the need for efficient energy
consumption and technology, Koral has a plan. "Those of us with experience
need to 'clone' ourselves," he says.
Under the auspices of the Superintendents Club, which Koral founded to
educate supers on the most efficient ways to maintain a building, he is
creating what he calls a Masters Program, offering instruction on many
aspects of running a residential building. The goal is to provide a pool
of expertise that will be available to the community. He has already
received a modest grant from the New York office of Local Initiatives
Support Corporation to write a curriculum, publicize the course, conduct
it and raise additional funds for program expenses. The courses will be
conducted at New York City Technical College in the Division of Continuing
Education and External Partnerships, and may offer college credits.
Koral will be an instructor, and he has also lined up Fred Goldner,
principal of Energy Management & Research Associates, an energy consulting
firm that is working closely with 1st Rochdale. General areas of study
will probably include (1) a history of housing development in New York;
(2) the roles of various governmental supervisory agencies with their
rules and regulations; (3) the various materials and systems that make a
multifamily building habitable; and (4) the proper activities and
relationships among the public agencies; the private, governmental,
cooperative and affordable housing owners, boards, managers and
Koral is seeking representatives from 1st Rochdale and the housing
cooperative community to serve on an advisory committee. "The graduates of
the program can be a valuable asset in helping 1st Rochdale provide
technical assistance to its members," he notes.
Anyone who wishes to know more about the program is encouraged to contact
Dick Koral, fax 718-552-1191 or e-mail,
"Supers Club" for New York
“If there is anyone who should know how
utilities work in a building, it’s the superintendent,” says Dick Koral,
Director, Apartment House Institute (AHI) at New York City Technical
College (CUNY) and founder of a “super” technical society — the
Superintendents Club of New York. Recognizing that the technological and
administrative demands on multi-unit building superintendents are
constantly increasing, Mr. Koral launched the organization last year, with
1st Rochdale as a founding associate member.
The Superintendents Club now has a
membership of about 70 building superintendents and maintenance personnel
from New York City, as well as Nassau and Westchester Counties. Membership
is open to supers, from low and middle income buildings, privately and
The club is involved in a number of
efforts that are compatible with 1st Rochdale’s mission to provide the
most efficient energy service at the most affordable prices. A $12,000
grant from the federal Department of Energy (DOE) will support the Club's
designation as a "Rebuild America Partner," a DOE program that marshals
the collective will of manufacturers, institutions, communities, etc. to
minimize energy consumption for buildings. Under the DOE program, DOE
experts will be available to provide technical consultation to co-op
directors and landlords who wish to install energy conservation measures
in their buildings. A monthly newsletter called “Super!” keeps members
posted on other important issues, including a recent article about
electricity deregulation and 1st Rochdale’s presence in the New York area.
The technology of building operations is
becoming ever more complex, Koral notes. “It’s important for supers and
building managers to know how they can economize by conserving energy and
water and using equipment as efficiently as possible. They should also
know how to minimize pollution.” The Supers Technical Association seeks to
bring superintendents together on a regularly scheduled basis, so that
they can share experiences and resources, develop an organizational
identity, create their own publication and plan for their long-term
expansion and institutionalization.
The club holds monthly meetings at which
speakers from the community address various issues related to maintaining
a building. At the July 27 meeting, Mark Dornhelm, who teaches plumbing to
college students enrolled in the Superintendent Technology Certificate
Program, gave a lecture and demonstration of plumbing repair techniques.
Other meetings this year have covered air conditioning and refrigeration
principles, computerized systems controls, and ridding a building of
drugs, prostitutes and graffiti artists.
Koral wants to see the club become a
self-sustaining entity within two years, and plans to apply for non-profit
incorporation to New York State and 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from IRS.
Another objective of the program is to
offer assistance to groups outside the New York Metro area who wish to set
up their own clubs. Over the years, Koral has instructed hundreds of
supers in many courses on efficient operation and maintenance. From this
pool of “graduates”, he plans to recruit a club organizing committee. As
the club grows, various chapters may be organized, perhaps based on
geography (different boroughs), or languages spoken by groups of supers
such as Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Korean.
1st Rochdale's website is: