We are excited to share the news that New York City Council passed legislation that will require construction and design of city-owned buildings to meet the highest LEED standards. This ties back to the fact that building energy usage is responsible for about 80% of NYC’s carbon emissions. The reductions will provide for cost savings, as well as reductions in energy demand with a direct correlation to reducing emissions from air pollutants, providing for an overall improvement in air quality and public health. Intro 701-A, was introduced to Council on March 11, 2015, heard by the committee on September 25, 2015, and now is sitting on the Mayor’s desk awaiting his signature.
New York City Council has shown their dedication to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as this is the second bill this year that appeared on our 2015 NYCC Environmental Scorecard to be passed. This bill goes hand in hand with the bill requiring Solar Technology to be implemented in all city-owned buildings.
In partnership with the bill, the Council jointly passed Intro 721-A, which will provide for a deeper and broader context behind the meaning of sustainability for capital municipal projects. From here, we will be able to see major reductions of about 50% in energy usage. All combined, the city is required to update their standards to LEED v.4, meet LEED Gold (vs. Silver), and building-specific standards for LEED certification.
This is a monumental jump from past endeavors to make major cuts in our emissions throughout the city. In 2005, the Mayor signed into enactment Local Law 86, (LEED Law), which had originally determined which construction would be required to acquire LEED certifications. Included in this were many other mild-attempts towards mitigating city-wide emissions and increasing our overall sustainability, including Executive Orders 97 & 149.
We look forward to seeing what NYCC will do next in our fight to build a clean, more sustainable city!