December 12, 2018
by: Adam Roberts
Policy Pulse 12.12.18

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 last week.

Now, it is imperative that AIANY’s members show their individual support. Please copy the statement below onto your office’s letterhead (if permissible) and email back a signed copy to Adam Roberts, Government Affairs Coordinator, at We need to show the city council how important sustainable design is to New York’s architects.

As one of AIA New York’s 5,600 members, I strongly support a more sustainable and equitable built environment. I am expressing my support for Council Member Costa Constantinides’ landmark legislation, Int. 1252 and Int. 1253, which require existing buildings over 25,000 square feet to retrofit to meet energy efficiency targets.

For years, market forces and government incentives have not done enough to encourage retrofitting. Unfortunately, we are running out of time to combat climate change. The City should require the bulk of our large building stock to start retrofitting immediately.

These pieces of legislation have the potential to significantly improve the daily lives of millions of New Yorkers, while also spurring the growth of green jobs. New Yorkers deserve to live and work in better conditions, and for that reason we ask the City Council to pass, and the Mayor sign, Int. 1252 and Int. 1253.



Sending these statements of support will go far in convincing council members to support the bills. Additionally, if you are able to speak with city council members in person, please attend this lobby day on Thursday, December 20, from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm.

Pulse Points:

  • A bill has been introduced in the City Council, Int. 1251, which would amend the energy grade scores for buildings instituted by Local Law 33. AIANY supported the passage of LL33 as a bill and continues to support improvements to the law, such as those in Int. 1251.
  • After nearly a year at New York City Transit, President Andy Byford continues to rally support around funding for his Fast Forward Plan to fix the subway and bus systems within 10 years. Last week, he made major pushes before the City Council and to business leaders at a breakfast hosted by Crain’s. AIANY has long expressed support for the plan and is advocating strongly for congestion pricing as a funding source.


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