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Green Zoning Advances in New York

Tom Stoelker reports on the progress of New York City's Zone Green initiative, a comprehensive effort to make it easier to construct green buildings and retrofit existing ones, that passed the City Planning Commission unanimously this past week.

Zone Green is intended to update the city's zoning code to remove impediments that prevented owners from building green or retrofitting their buildings, and is designed to encourage homeowners and landlords to invest more in greening their properties.

According to Stoelker, "Building owners will now be able to install a green roof, add solar panels, and sunshading without a punitive reduction of the floor area ratio." The zoning changes allow more leeway in the size and extent of screen and sunshades, additional roof height for greenhouses, green roofs, and solar panels, and additional depth for building recladding for insulation purposes.

According to the City, "The program is a key component of the Bloomberg Administration's PlaNYC for greening the City's roughly one million buildings, which cost $15 billion per year to power and heat, and account for 80% of the city's greenhouse gas emissions. Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings and enabling them to produce their own clean energy represents a critical contribution to the global environment."

Full Story: Emerald City

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