Nine Bills Released by the Green Codes Task Force

June 11, 2010

On June 9, 2010 the City Council released nine bills, accomplishing a milestone towards greener building construction and retrofitting, geared towards water and lighting energy conservation and efficiency. This effort has been led by the NYC Green Codes Task Force, initiated by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn. The taskforce is charged with changing the building code to tackle urban environmental issues on a larger scale. Here are short summaries from New York City Council, with links to the draft bill text. Task Force OC 1: Including environmental concerns as an interest of the NYC Building Code. Task Force HT 20: Drinking fountains: Drinking fountains shall dispense potable water that may be drunk without using a cup, and which shall be dispensed at such an angle so as to prevent the mouths and noses of persons drinking from such fountains from coming into contact with the water outlet, and which shall also contain a separate faucet or other outlet suitable for filling a bottle that is at least 10 inches high with potable water. Task Force EE 7: Improving lighting efficiency in dwellings: Lighting fixtures and natural light shall in the aggregate provide an illumination level of no less than one foot-candle measured at the floor level in public parts of dwellings Task Force EE 13: Energy efficiency in commercial buildings: An occupant sensor shall be installed that turns lighting on by manual control, and such occupant sensor shall not have an override switch that converts from manual-on to automatic-on functionality. Task Force EE 15: Reducing unnecessary artificial lighting in lobbies and hallways. Task Force EE 16: Lighting of temporary walkways at construction sites: A minimum of 1 foot-candle (11 lux) measured at the level of the walking surface. Task Force WE 1: Enhancing water efficiency standards: Toilets, urinals, and shower heads must comply with new standards. Task Force WE 3: Preventing water waste in buildings. The Council therefore finds that sub-meters attached to major water-using equipment will help building managers quickly detect such leaks and malfunctions, and save significant amounts of water from being wasted. Task Force WE 6: Reducing the waste of drinking water for cooling. Potable water shall not be used for once-through cooling. Equipment such as ice-making machines, walk-in coolers, refrigerated walk-in boxes, or environmental air conditioning equipment shall be provided with air cooled condensers or recirculating condenser water systems, or supplied with non-potable water as permitted by Appendix C of this code. Hearing for these bills will be held on June 22, 2010. It is expected that more bills are to come in the next few months.