July 27, 2015 - Green Buildings
Expanding Beyond PlaNYC, mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city's goal, "80 by 50" of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2050 from its 2005 levels. This makes NYC the largest city in the world to commit to that level of GHG reduction, and understandably so, as currently, NYC buildings are responsible for approximately three-quarters of the city's GHG.
One City: Built to Last, an initiative in direct support of 80 by 50, is a 10-year plan to retrofit public and private buildings so as to: a) reduce NYC contribution to climate change, b) reduce operational savings and c) create green jobs. Leading by example by retrofitting public buildings, the administration, through its 80 by 50 initiative, encourages landlords to voluntarily invest in efficiency upgrades by setting interim targets/incentives and by implementing mandates that kick-in if interim reduction targets are not met.
The mayor formed a Technical Working Group (TWG) bringing together world-class industry leaders and environmental advocates to help develop the policies and programs needed to transform the city's building stock, with the interim goal of reducing building-based emissions by 30% by 2025 so as to move NYC along its path to 80 by 50.
These important and boldly challenging steps are being taken not just for the sake of becoming a more livable and sustainable city, or for leading by example.
These steps are being taken because our current burning of fossil fuels is the warming our planet. Per the NYC Climate Change Projections, source by the NYC Panel on Climate Change:
Amongst the many consequences we can anticipate more frequent and intense storms that pound our shorelines. Dire, costly and contemporary, these consequences mandate that we accelerate the preparation of resiliency strategies such as: a) upgrade our energy infrastructure to provide and utilize clean energy, b) develop more numerous stormwater capture/management strategies and c) consider converting flood zone properties into recreation and open spaces which provides for protection of our shoreline with the added benefit of helping neighborhoods keep cool during summertime heat waves.
Nadine Cino LEED AP is the CEO and co-inventor of Tyga-Box Systems, Inc., New York, N.Y.