Architects and elected officials have long discussed the need for mandatory retrofitting of existing buildings, particularly large ones, in order to reduce carbon emissions. Currently, 70% of carbon emissions in New York City are caused by buildings. Fortunately, two new bills have been introduced in the City Council to address this: Int. 1252, which will finance retrofitting; and Int. 1253, which will institute energy targets on existing buildings over 25,000 square feet.
These bills will not only reduce New York’s carbon emissions, they will also create countless green jobs and make the built environment more equitable. Elected officials have been speaking lately about the need for a “Green New Deal;” now is the time to implement one in New York City. AIANY has expressed support for this legislation and members of its Committee on the Environment testified before the City Council in December 2018. AIA New York’s statement of support is included below.