Adam’s Green Policy Round-up

October 6, 2008

Hello Everyone! My name is Adam Szlachetka. I’ll be blogging on regulatory and legislative issues that impact green building in New York City, interesting issues related to green home design in the City, and other related topics. Just to get started, there were a few notable items from this summer In August, Governor Paterson signed legislation to provide tax breaks for green roof installation in the City. The bill provides for a tax abatement of $4.50 per square foot of green roof installed (the program sunsets in 2013).  There are an estimated 944 million square feet of rooftops in the city – about 11.5% of the total building area. Average per square foot cost estimates for green roofs can vary widely, but the point here is that the State government took a very concrete step towards incentivizing green building technologies.  Hopefully the State’s budgetary woes won’t stop the passage of other similar proposals in the future. New York City Council Member Dan Gardonick floated the idea of “Solar Empowerment Zones” to ease the financial and regulatory burden of installing solar power systems The greening of government (sort of) continued with ConEd’s installation of a green roof at its training facility in Long Island City and with the construction of a green school on the East Side. Recently, the EPA and the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability announced the winners of their third Green Building Competition. The NY Times City Room features a brief overview, and some pictures. And outside of New York: Budding green building professionals should be aware that the LEED for Existing Buildings (EB) is being updated.  A new version of the guidelines have been developed, and will be the subject of future exams. Google’s easy to use Sketch-Up program (this program allows anyone to design a building) can now utilize a free plug in that runs sustainability performance simulations and analyses on building designs, from energy and carbon analyses to life-cycle cost estimates.  Next time I’ll be reviewing the pending green building related bills on the State and City level, and chat briefly about some federal initiatives that could impact NYC. Talk soon, Adam