NYC Introduces $14B Sustainability Plan


Earlier this week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced what’s being billed as the city’s “Green New Deal,” a $14 billion plan that is aiming to reduce the city’s greenhouse emissions by 30% by 2030.

The plan is outlined in a report titled “OneNYC 2050: Building a Strong and Fair City.”

"Every day we wait is a day our planet gets closer to the point of no-return. New York City's Green New Deal meets that reality head on," said de Blasio. "We are confronting the same interests that created the climate crisis and deepened inequality. There's no time to waste. We're taking action now, before it's too late."

What’s in the Plan?

The plan looks at numbers from 2005 and described several initiatives that will reduce emissions by various percentage points from those numbers.

Following the 2005 baseline, this plan is slated to cut in the following ways:

  • 10%: Mandating that all large, existing buildings implement retrofits to be more efficient and lower emissions;
  • 6%: Reducing emissions by including more renewable energy, expanded energy efficiency in buildings and reduced reliance on fossil fuel vehicles;
  • 5%: Pursuing a deal to power 100% of city operations with clean electricity sources like Canadian hydropower; and
  • 2%: Cleaning up vehicle fleet and implementing congestion pricing.

“Previous actions taken by the de Blasio administration, such as phasing out dirtier heating oil, have already resulted in a 5% reduction,” according to the city’s press release.

“The total reduction secured through actions of the de Blasio administration will reach 28%. When added to reductions made under the prior administration, New York City will reach a total emissions reduction of 40% by 2030 and putting ourselves on track for full carbon neutrality by 2050.”

There are two major parts of the initiative that impact the building and construction industry. Those include:

  • Requiring buildings cut their emissions. With the passage of the building mandates law, New York City is the first city in the world to require all large existing buildings of 25,000 square feet or more, of which there are 50,000 citywide, to make efficiency upgrades that lower their energy usage and emissions or face steep penalties, according to the report.
  • Banning new inefficient glass-walled buildings. The city will no longer allow all-glass facades in new construction unless they meet strict performance guidelines, making inefficient glass-heavy building designs a thing of the past.

De Blasio had been quoted in several outlets as just saying that the latter point was a “ban on all new glass buildings, but Mark Chambers, director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, clarified in an interview that the new policy aims to enforce stringent sustainability goals for buildings that plan to incorporate large amounts of glass facades.

“If a company wants to build a big skyscraper,” he said, “they can use a lot of glass if they do all the other things needed to reduce the emissions.”


Tagged categories: Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Glass; Good Technical Practice; Government; Laws and litigation; NA; North America

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