Drive Demand for Super-Efficient Buildings

New York is home to some of the world’s most venerated high-performance buildings. The iconic Empire State Building gave us a model energy retrofit. On Roosevelt Island, Cornell Tech is building the world’s largest Passive House. But there is still work to be done. Urban Green Council’s programs, policies and data are bringing advanced building efficiency to the forefront.

Today’s demand shapes tomorrow’s reality. A large office building constructed to code today will use 25 percent less energy than one constructed 10 years ago—a tremendous achievement. But to achieve 80x50 goals, it might need to realize 75 percent reduction. To catalyze broader adoption, we must increase awareness of, and demand for, a new generation of super-efficient buildings.


  • Helping NYSERDA facilitate the adoption of high-efficiency mechanical equipment.
  • Engaging stakeholders in the creation of policies that will drive new buildings to meet 80x50 targets.
  • Advising government on design competitions to demonstrate the feasibility of super-efficient buildings.
  • Researching long-term carbon reduction paths.


  • Enacted low-energy intensity building requirements for certain capital projects (LL31).
  • Guided the creation of buildings that are as healthy as they are beautiful (High Cholesterol Buildings).
  • Outlined the importance of high-performing buildings that protect against severe outdoor weather during blackouts (Baby It's Cold Inside).