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Greening the City's Codes & Regulations
Photo Credit: NYCHA
Greening the City's Codes & Regulations

PlaNYC contains an initiative to strengthen New York City's energy and building codes to make buildings more energy efficient and sustainable. To green New York City's buildings through codes, the City explored LEED® requirements for new construction, but found that LEED® was designed as tool that promoted innovation, not necessarily regulation. Therefore, the City decided to turn to its extraordinary design and real estate community for suggestions. In July 2008, Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn asked Urban Green Council (the New York chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council) to convene a task force of more than 200 experts to recommend changes within any of the City's codes and regulations to make buildings more sustainable.

Green Codes Task Force
The resulting New York City Green Codes Task Force proposals, the most comprehensive effort of any U.S. city government to green the codes and regulations that impact buildings, produced 111 recommendations to bring the most cost-effective green building benefits to all buildings. The proposals address the wide array of building impacts, such as water consumption, landscape practices, toxicity of materials, building resilience, occupants' physical activity and energy efficiency. After two years since the proposals were introduced, many have already been incorporated into City law or practice, while others are in the process of being crafted into workable laws. Visit the Enacted Proposals page for updates.

In addition to the Green Codes Task Force enacted proposals, there are additional codes that promote sustainability through green buildings and energy efficiency. Below are brief descriptions of current codes and regulations, with links to web pages providing more information.

Energy Code
New York City adopted its own Energy Code, called the New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC). NYCECC allows the City to follow codes best adapted to New York City's needs and adopt amendments to make significant gains in energy efficiency.

Zone Green
Zone Green amends zoning regulations to help property owners install a wide range of green features in new and existing buildings. By removing obstacles caused by previous zoning regulations, Zone Green will unlock opportunities to make buildings greener.

Heating Oil Regulations
Heating Oil Regulations will provide crucial health benefits by improving air quality for all New Yorkers. Air pollution from heating oil burned in New York City buildings significantly contributes to air pollution levels that annually result in more than 3,000 deaths, 2,000 hospital admissions for lung and heart conditions, and approximately 6,000 emergency department visits for asthma in children and adults.
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