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September 15, 2016
by Justin Pascone
New York City’s Energy and Water Use 2013 Report.

On 08.24.16, the Mayor’s Office, along with Urban Green Council and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, released New York City’s Energy and Water Use 2013 Report, citing an 8% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from 3,000 of the city’s largest buildings between 2010 and 2013. In those same buildings, energy use decreased by 6%. The encouraging report shows where the city is excelling at reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, while also highlighting areas for improvement, including updating heating and lighting systems as well as securing areas around A/C units and windows to stem energy loss.

The results of the report are a further reminder of the role architects play in the pursuit to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings are the biggest source of emissions and energy consumption, especially in New York City. Because of our extensive transit system and low private-vehicle use, the energy used in buildings accounts for 73% of citywide emissions, which is well above the national average of 40% attributed to buildings.

AIANY continues to advance and collaborate with the building community to provide the necessary mechanisms and information to create a framework for sustainable design. Last spring, AIANY helped lead the city’s Buildings Technical Working Group, a cross-sectional task force of industry, non-profit, and government experts assigned to assess how buildings can achieve New York City’s ambitious 80×50 goal. The work produced by the group eventually led to an update of the NYC Energy Conservation Code last month. Signed on 08.3.16, the legislation not only brings the city’s code in line with the state, it also holds city buildings to a higher environmental standard.

With the goal of safer and more energy-efficient buildings, the new code goes into effect on 10.03.16. In order to ensure that architects are prepared for the changes ahead, AIANY has partnered with the Urban Green Council to offer “Conquer the Code” training courses throughout September. AIANY is also working with the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) to address the update. On 09.16.16, the AIANY Building Codes Committee will host Gina Bocra, DOB Chief Sustainability Officer, and Emily Hoffman, DOB Director of Energy Code Compliance, at the Center for Architecture. The two speakers will review the latest changes to the code, and discuss local provisions added by their department. For more information and registration continue here.

Pulse Points

  • On 8.22.16, the NYC Department of City Planning released its Draft Scope of Work for a renewed Midtown East Rezoning plan. This is the first step in approving a plan that would raise the as-of-right density allowance for a 78-block area between 57th and 39th Streets and Madison and Third Avenues. The first public scoping meeting is being held on 09.22.16.
  • On 08.25.16, AIANY and the Architects Council of New York met with Councilmember Jumaane Williams and the DOB to discuss a proposed rule change to include an additional fee for project determinations with the department. After considering our input, the DOB is reviewing the proposed rule and plans to issue a revised version this fall. AIANY will continue to work with DOB and regularly update members.
  • On 08.26.16, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the nomination of Michael Samuelian, FAIA, as President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. Samuelian will be responsible for directing and managing all of Governors Island’s activities and operations, and supporting the island’s development.
  • Registration is now open to attend the International Code Council’s 2016 Annual Conference and Expo, 10.16.16-10.25.16, in Kansas City, Missouri. The building safety conference offers exclusive ICC resources and information to support the work of architects and design professionals. Register here

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