Department Contacts


July 30, 2012 | Posted by Ryan Issa | Permalink

Until recently the majority of sustainable construction activity has been focused on new construction.  Today there is a movement in major cities toward green retrofits in both privately and publicly owned buildings.  Because new construction represents only a small portion of the overall building population, green retrofits and sustainable renovations of existing buildings can make a larger impact on the environment.  Recent New York City green retrofits of the Empire State Building, the JP Morgan Headquarters, and the 125 Broad Street Tower showcase the potential benefits of major green retrofit projects.

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September 20, 2011 | Posted by Winefsky, Josh S. | Permalink

On August 15, 2011, Judge Leonard Sand of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the U.S. Green Building Council’s motion to dismiss a complaint against it by several building design and construction professionals alleging violations of the Federal Lanham Act and New York law.  Judge Sand dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint due to lack of standing under the Lanham Act and declined to exercise jurisdiction over the state law claims.    Thus, the plaintiffs’ claims that LEED certification does not necessarily result in more energy savings for a building were not addressed on the merits.

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June 23, 2011 | Posted by Daggan, Clinton | Permalink

Building rooftops constitute 11.5 percent of the overall surface area in New York City, or approximately 944.3 billion square feet, an entire extra borough.  Consequently, rooftops have an enormous impact on the environment of the city and on the economics of owning and developing real estate.  The following article was published in the New York Law Journal on June 20, 2011, and discusses tax incentives, grant programs, zoning allowances and other laws and initiatives enacted at the federal, state and local levels to encourage the installation of sustainable roofs.  The article also discusses the impacts that a sustainable roof can have on a project seeking certification with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ("LEED") program. 

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March 2, 2011 | Posted by Rebecca L. Cossin | Permalink

The U.S. Green Building Council (“USGBC”) provides a rating system for new construction and major renovations of K-12 academic buildings, known as LEED for Schools. G.D. Rogers Garden Elementary School in Bradenton, Florida recently achieved LEED Silver certification under the LEED for Schools rating system.

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December 20, 2010 | Posted by Daggan, Clinton | Permalink

On November 9, 2010, the New York State Climate Action Council ("Climate Action Council") released the New York State Climate Action Plan Interim Report (the "Interim Report").  The Interim Report describes policy options that aim to achieve greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions mitigation and better prepare New York State for a changing climate.  The Interim Report is part of Executive Order 24, which was issued by Governor David Paterson in August 2009 and formally established a State goal of reducing GHG emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 ("80 by 50").  The Executive Order established the Climate Action Council to determine how to meet that goal and also to develop a plan to increase New York's ability to adapt to a rapidly changing climate.  The Climate Action Council is seeking public comments until February 7, 2011, and will review those comments before issuing the final Climate Action Plan. 

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December 7, 2010 | Posted by Winefsky, Josh | Permalink

Earning LEED certification requires the accumulation of credits in a variety of categories.  The more credits a development or renovation project achieves, the higher the LEED rating the project will receive.  For some projects that seek LEED certification, the identification of “low-hanging fruits,” those easy to achieve and low-cost credits, can be a starting point in project planning.

One such credit, Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2: Heat Island Effect – Roof, awards points for installation of a roof with a high solar reflectance index (“SRI”), or a vegetated roof.  SRI is the measure of a surface’s ability to reflect solar heat – a standard black surface has an SRI of 0, while a standard white surface has an SRI of 100.

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November 16, 2010 | Posted by Cossin, Rebecca L. | Permalink

Many universities are choosing to green their buildings and campuses.  The Princeton Review partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council to produce the 2010-2011 "Guide to 286 Green Colleges," which focuses on the sustainable efforts of a number of colleges, many of which have adopted green building and development practices.  While it is not included in the Princeton’s Review’s 2010-2011 list of “Green Colleges,” The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art made headlines for its new building at 41 Cooper Square in Manhattan.

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November 15, 2010 | Posted by Daggan, Clinton | Permalink

On October 13, 2010, the New York City Council enacted a set of local laws that address the water efficiency of New York City buildings by amending the New York City Plumbing Code (the “Plumbing Code”).  These laws codify several recommendations that were made by the NYC Green Codes Task Force (the “Task Force”) in its February 2010 report to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.  The Task Force was convened by the Urban Green Council to recommend green changes to the laws and regulations affecting buildings in New York City.  These new laws are consistent with the goal of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) program to reduce the amount of potable water used by buildings while still meeting the needs of the building’s systems and occupants.

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