As part of cumulative efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2.7 million metric tons, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a series of new energy initiatives for all building types, sizes and uses in New York City. According to the Mayor’s office, buildings account for nearly three-quarters of all emissions in the Big Apple.

  • The new proposals fall under One City: Built to Last, a 10-year green building plan designed to reduce private sector building emissions 30 percent by 2025.
  • One City: Built to Last is a part of a broader program, OneNYC -- the mayor’s strategy to reduce citywide emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
  • NYC is now requiring city-owned buildings to be designed as low energy buildings, and existing requirements for benchmarking, lighting upgrades and sub-metering are expanding.
  • Along with other regulations, the city is now requiring stores to improve burner controls for boilers, cover open freezers and refrigerators, seal roof vents and more.

As part of cumulative efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2.7 million metric tons, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a series of new energy initiatives for all building types, sizes and uses in New York City. According to the Mayor’s office, buildings account for nearly three-quarters of all emissions in the Big Apple.

The new proposals fall under One City: Built to Last, a 10-year green building plan designed to reduce private sector building emissions 30 percent by 2025. Promoted by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability in April via the Sustainability Boot Camp for landlords and building managers, most of the goals involved retrofitting public and private buildings, while reducing operating expenses and creating jobs.

One City: Built to Last is a part of a broader program, OneNYC — the mayor’s strategy to reduce citywide emissions by 80 percent by 2050. De Blasio hopes these programs will not only reduce negative impact on the environment, but create an estimated 1,300 construction jobs and generate approximately $900 million in utility savings for building owners and tenants alike.

Mayor Bill de Blasio/Facebook

Mayor Bill de Blasio/Facebook

“We’ve set bold goals as we take on climate change and a clear path to meet them. The City has been leading the way by greening our own public facilities,” de Blasio said. “Now, these new initiatives will dramatically reduce emissions from New York City’s over one million buildings, while saving New Yorkers millions and creating thousands of new jobs — and we’ll be providing owners support throughout the process.”

In addition to introducing green initiatives, the city outlined programs to provide technical and financial support to building owners and managers as they undergo improvements to structures.

NYC is now requiring city-owned buildings to be designed as low energy buildings. In addition, existing requirements for benchmarking, lighting upgrades and sub-metering are expanding.

By working with the Technical Working Group and stakeholders, the NYC City Council is committed to finding ways to reach 80 by 50, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said.

The 2.7 million metric ton reduction — equivalent to taking more than 560,000 cars off the road — would improve air quality by reducing PM2.5 emissions by around 130 tons. The city estimates air quality improvements will prevent 120 premature deaths, 60 hospitalizations and emergency room visits each year.

While developers might benefit from an estimated $900 million in operating expenses, enforced measures include upgraded heating systems for large and mid-size buildings, especially those relying on steam systems and radiators. More than 70 percent of all buildings in the city (80 percent residential buildings) use steam heat distribution, and streamlining operations could reduce current emissions by 4 percent.

Along with other regulations, the city is now requiring stores to improve burner controls for boilers, cover open freezers and refrigerators, install ceiling fans in heated industrial spaces and seal roof vents in elevator shafts. Historic buildings are required to improve their energy-efficient operations, as well.

A joint statement from The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Rent Stabilization Association, The Building Owners & Managers Association of Greater New York and The Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives & Condominiums praised de Blasio’s goals, but was a little less optimistic.

“We strongly support the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by the year 2050.  Today’s report reflects a change in the administration’s previously stated approach of setting ambitious targets for voluntary reductions followed by mandates as needed,” the statement reads.

“This report proposes immediate mandates with no explanation as to how those mandates will be achieved or the ambitious targets reached.  Nevertheless, we remain committed to working with the City and others to improve sustainability for future generations of New York City residents.  Improvements, however, will only occur through practical proposals that can achieve realistic goals.”

However, the Mayor’s Office believes the city is up to the task despite the heavy prediction.

“This is how New Yorkers get going — setting a big goal, using the best data available, bringing the best minds to the table, figuring it out, and getting the support and technical expertise to the people who need it,” Nilda Mesa, director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, said.

Email Jennifer Riner

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top