Case of the month

Policy    New York City - Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP)
City    New York City (USA)
Promotor    New York City Council and City of New York Mayor
Territorial scope    city
Target buildings    


Public buildings

 New buildings    
Private buildings
 Existing buildings
 Industrial, services, etc.
Main Targets by 2030  
  • This plan will ultimately save New Yorkers $700 million in energy costs annually;
  • Improve conditions for tenants;
  • Create 17,800 construction jobs; and
  • Reduce GHG emissions by almost 5% - the largest single advance towards our 30% goal.
    The New York City Greener, Greater City (PlaNYC) brought over 25 city agencies to work towards the vision of a greener and greater city over the next 20 years, by establishing a set of measures and goals related to: housing and neighborhoods, parks and public space, brownfields, waterways, water supply, transportation, energy, air quality, solid waste, and climate change.

To achieve most of PlaNYC's sustainability goals, was developed a specific policy plan related to green buildings and energy efficiency - The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP). This plan is based on six strategic lines with the objective of transform the existent large buildings more energy efficient, namely:

1. New York City Energy Code - This code will implement more demanding energy standards for building renovation and equipment replacement, for the achievement of significant energy reductions and cost savings.

2. Lighting upgrades and sub-metering - The new legislation requires a lighting upgrade and sub-metering statement of electricity consumption over the next 15 years for all large buildings (excluding residential living spaces), and specifically for non-residential tenant spaces over 10,000 square feet by 2025.

3. Benchmarking - benchmarking measure will provide simple and effective tools for owners such as potential purchasers to compare buildings energy consumption between similar buildings and to raise energy efficiency awareness.

4. Audits and retro-commissioning - New legislation about energy audits will requires large buildings to conduct energy audits every ten years period, and to undertake energy-efficient maintenance practices as part of a retro-commissioning process.

5. Green workforce development training - The set of all energy saving measures requires a skilled workforce, which will be supported by the consortium shaped by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the U.S. Green Building Council that will design and set up the training modules required.

6. Green building financing - to assist these building owners, New York City was awarded federal stimulus funds to establish a pilot revolving loan fund.

The plan gave a special approach to a set of initiatives ranging from piloting deep energy retrofits in city projects to the comprehensive tracking of progress in greening the city's buildings, making them more energy-efficient, reduce operating expenses, and cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

For the development of green building practices was created a set of energy and building codes, namely the City Green Codes Task Force (composed by over 200 building experts, and its mission goes by city's codes and regulations review), an Energy Code (follow codes best adapted to New York City's needs), a Green Zone (readjust zoning regulations to help property owners install a wide range of green features in new and existing buildings.), and Heating Oil Regulations (provide new limits for air pollution levels).