New Council Acts Quickly on Green Codes

Green Codes Task Force recommendations have been implemented at an average rate of about one per month since February 2010. Today, the City Council enacted four more, bringing the grand total to 51.

The headliner is a bill to reduce asthma and allergies caused by mold in buildings. It’s a widespread problem – city data shows a staggering 25,428 mold complaints in 2013. Intro 93/2014 helps prevent mold by requiring mold-resistant drywall or cement board in water-prone areas such as bathrooms and basements.

According to a 2009 study by the city’s Department of Health (referenced by the Village Voice), “nearly a quarter of children living in the city’s public housing system suffer from asthma – around 10 percent higher than the asthma rate among all NYC children.” Green buildings must be healthy, not just energy efficient, and this bill will help all New Yorkers regardless of which “tale of two cities” they have to tell.

A second health-related bill passed today encourages exercise and reduces time spent waiting for the elevator. Intro 203/2014 makes stairs more convenient and attractive by allowing buildings to hold stairwell doors open using magnets that close automatically when smoke is detected.

Construction projects both big and small will reduce their energy use through two bills passed today. Intro 263/2014 requires energy-efficient lighting on construction sites. Until now, the lighting on construction sites was allowed to be so horribly inefficient that it was possible for the strings of 100-watt bulbs burning around the clock to use more energy than the finished building.

Intro 16/2014 requires insulation be added when pipes are exposed during construction. Since pipe insulation is one of the most cost-efficient energy reducing measures available, this tasty energy-saving fruit hangs so low it’s been dragging on the ground.

Congrats to the City Council and Mayor’s Office for forging ahead with Green Codes. These laws will make a difference, and soon. Read more about any of these bills on our Legislative Tracker.