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January 14, 2015
by EmmaPattiz
Constadino (Gus) Sirakis, PE, Gina L. Bocra, AIA, LEED AP BD+C/ID+C, and Emily Hoffman, PE, CEM, LEED AP, CPMP, from the NYC Department of Buildings presented on the updated energy code to a packed house on 1.12.15.

In 2014, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his administration’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% over 2005 levels by 2050. Almost 75% of NYC’s emissions come from buildings, so the proposed retrofits would dramatically reduce citywide emissions. To reach this goal, architects need to get on board and AIANY is preparing to help.

After a productive meeting with Nilda Mesa, director of the new Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, AIANY is committed to embracing the administration’s goals. By working with dedicated members, fellow AIA chapters, and partner organizations, AIANY is prepared to take on a sustained effort to advocate for systems that reduce carbon emissions in the built environment. In 2015, AIANY is planning to introduce a dedicated position on the Board to oversee sustainability-focused advocacy work for the next 35 years.

In addition to organizing related programming and fostering a stronger relationship with Urban Green Council, 2015 AIANY President Tomas Rossant, AIA, has dedicated February’s presidential events to the new version of PlaNYC, due out this spring, and the 80 by 50 plan. AIANY is also partnering with Enterprise Community Partners in orchestrating a competition for deep energy retrofits for NYCHA buildings.

Pulse Points

  • The 2014 NYC Construction Codes are in effect. Read more on the NYC Department of Buildings website.
  • The NYC Department of Buildings held a session on updates to the 2011 New York City Energy Conservation Code at the Center for Architecture on 1.12.15. Video and information about the session will be available in February 2015.
  • Save the date! FitCity 10 will convene 05.11.15 at the New York Academy of Medicine. AIANY continues to work with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as well as other city agencies and community groups to frame the content for the 10th annual conference. More details to come.
  • At the end of 2014, Congress approved a provision that reforms the design-build procurement process, providing more certainty and opportunity for firms that want to participate in federal projects. If state and local governments and private sector clients follow suit, this change will help thousands of architecture firms compete for projects. Congress also passed legislation to restore several incentives for energy-efficient design, including the 179D energy efficient commercial building tax deduction, which has saved money and promoted sustainable design. AIA National issued a press release on the extension of 179D.
  • On 01.14.15, Urban Green Council presented “Passive House High-Rises: Obstacles and Opportunities in NYC.” A recording of the program will be available on the Urban Green Council and AIANY websites.
  • The Building Energy Exchange (BEEx), formerly known as Green Light New York, is an independent non-profit organization that provides resources to increase use of energy efficiency projects in the built environment, focusing on commercial lighting retrofits. BEEx developed this survey to better understand the field. The survey closes on 12.30.15, and in mid January, two individuals will be selected to receive either an iPad mini or free attendance to BEEx events through July 2015.

Emma Pattiz is the AIANY Policy Coordinator. For more information on AIANY policy initiatives and programs, please contact her at


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