Zoning Amendments in New York City Promote Green Buildings
New York City spends around $15 billion each year to heat/power buildings, and these buildings are responsible for 80 percent of the city's carbon emissions. Improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings is critical to reducing energy use and carbon emissions.
On April 30, 2012 the City Council adopted the Zone Green Text Amendment. The zoning text changes, which are now in effect, remove zoning impediments to the construction and retrofitting of green buildings. The environment friendly zoning laws give owners more choices for the investments they can make to save energy, save money, and improve environmental performance.
The changes in the zoning rules were based on recommendations by a task force of design and construction professionals enlisted by the city to propose ways to promote energy efficiency and other environmental improvements for buildings.
Here is a summary of the regulations
Energy-efficient building walls:
Encourage better insulation by allowing buildings to add up to eight inches of thickness to exterior walls without its being counted in the building's maximum footprint.
Sun control devices:
Above the ground floor, allow sun control devices and awnings to project 2'-6" over required open areas. Solid portions of the sun control devices, in aggregate, could cover no more than 30 percent of the façade from which they project, as viewed in elevation.
Allow solar panels on flat roofs anywhere below the parapet, regardless of building height. Portions of taller solar installations that are higher than 4 feet would be subject to limits on roof coverage and height. On sloping roofs, panels would be allowed to be flat-mounted (less than 18" high).
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