Friday, February 5, 2010

New York City-Rebooted

NYC Green Codes Task Force (who knew we had one?) announced 111 recommendations that they suggest be introduced into NYC's building codes. On the USGBC website the full proposal can be downloaded, I highly recommend it. The NY Times did a story on it on Feb. 1

I read the Executive Summary, and it offers NYC ways to reduce toxicity levels indoors and outdoors, improve out health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, build more durable buildings, conserve water and improve it's quality, reduce Combined Sewage Overflow, and increase the amount of biodiversity and open green space. They propose the necessary environmental improvements in our construction and renovation become integrated into the Department of Buildings codes as opposed to remaining outside concerns. They also propose several retrofits for existing buildings to make them more energy efficient and to fast track building permits for green building construction. They have several points about native plants and reducing the use of invasives, monocultures, and turf.
Here are just a few excerpts from it:

"....75 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 85 percent of water use in New York are attributed to buildings."

"...indoor air quality has a greater [negative] impact on the health of New Yorkers than does outdoor air."

"The New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force [ another task force I had no idea existed ] predicts that by 2030 sea level rise in New York will reach 7-12 inches, average daily temperature will be 3-5 F degrees hotter, precipitation will be 10% greater and there will be more frequent extreme weather events."

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