New York Announces Green Building Initiative for New State Construction

September 03, 2007

David Brown, Executive Director of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (Authority), announced an initiative August 28 to promote the construction of energy efficient, state-owned buildings. The same day, New York's First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer announced proposed legislation to promote "green" private residences. The New York State Executive Mansion is already undergoing a green renovation.

Brown announced that beginning in 2008, all new state construction projects and major renovations managed by the Authority will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards established by the United States Green Building Council. The Authority has committed to applying for Silver LEED certification for all of its major new construction work. The minimal upfront costs of building green will ultimately be recouped in energy and water savings, thus providing long-term savings for the state and its taxpayers.

The First Lady announced that Governor Eliot Spitzer's administration will propose legislation that offers an incentive to homeowners who build or renovate homes that meet green building criteria. The amount of the incentive will be based on the size of the home, with a cap of $10,000 per home, and help offset the typical 5 percent increase in construction costs when green or sustainable features are incorporated.

"Buildings are part of the problem of climate change, but they can also be part of the solution if they meet a higher standard for environmental sustainability," she said. "This legislation offers an economic incentive to everyday New Yorkers who would like to make their homes more energy efficient, but are concerned about higher construction costs."

In May, the First Lady announced her "Greening the Mansion" initiative — an effort to make the governor's mansion in Albany a green building. See the May 2 EERE State Activities and Partnerships article.

The Authority's initiative and the proposed legislation support New York State's "15 x 15" plan to reduce energy use by 15 percent from forecasted levels by the year 2015 through new energy efficiency programs intended to reduce energy bills, greenhouse gas emissions, and other air pollution.

For more information, see the governor's August 28 press release

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in New York, see: