NYC passes green buildings plan

As I am currently writing my article on sustainable buildings and construction, I came across this news about the City Council of New York recently passing four legislation under the six-point Greener, Greater Buildings plan that will reduce emissions from large existing buildings in the city.

The legislation include the following:

  • New York City Energy Code Bill that will require all buildings being renovated to comply with the standard energy code International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
  • Benchmarking Bill that will require a benchmarking standard evaluating a building’s energy efficiency for all private buildings greater than 50,000 sq.ft. or public buildings greater than 10,000 sq.ft.
  • Lighting Upgrades and Sub-metering Bill that will require lighting systems in commercial buildings over 50,000 sq.ft. be upgraded to meet the requirements of the New York City Energy Conservation Code. The bill also requires large commercial buildings sub-meter electricity usage in certain large tenant spaces and that building owners provide these tenants with a monthly statement showing electric consumption and the amount charged for electricity.
  • Audits and Retro-Commissioning Bill that requires existing buildings over 50,000 sq.ft. to undergo an energy audit and undertake retro-commissioning measures once every ten years.

The $16m financing of the plan will come from federal stimulus funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The legislation is expected to dramatically reduce the City’s energy usage and carbon footprint, save consumers $700 million/year in energy costs, and to also create 17,880 construction-related jobs.

According to the City Council, 80% of New York City’s carbon footprint comes from buildings’ energy use, and 85% of the buildings that exist today will be in use in 2030. Once implemented, the legislation passed today will reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 4.75 percent, the largest reduction achieved by a single program.

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