2011 Policy Round Up

January 7, 2012

Just before the end of the year the federal government, NYC Department of City Planning, and the City Council all took big steps in helping buildings to go green. First, the New York City Council passed three more bills from the Green Codes Task Force: Int. 592 – Requires new mechanical ventilation systems to better filter pollutants utilizing a MERV 11 rated filter or better Int. 576 – Disallows concrete mixer trucks to rinse at construction sites, which leads to runoff entering streets and stormwater drains Int. 578 – Requires at least 30% recycled asphalt in new streets and other building applications, or 10% in heavy-duty applications. Of course, more information is available from the Urban Green Council who spearheaded this initiative. The NYC DCP has initiated another major shift in City Policy, one that highlights NYC’s leadership on a national scale: the “Zone Green” proposal would remove zoning obstacles that can inhibit the building and retrofitting of energy efficient buildings.  These changes would permit better insulation, enable installation of solar panels and sun control devices, and allow for more rooftop features that benefit energy performance.  A series of FAQs are also available. Finally, the White House announced $4 billion in federal and private funding for upgrades to buildings as part of the Better Buildings Challenge.  These investments are aimed at organizations and firms around the country, and a skim of the groups involved ensures that some of this money will reach NYC.