Friday, March 6, 2009

New York adopts State Green Building Construction Act

In September, 2008, Gov. Paterson signed into law the "State Green Building Construction Act", as Article 13 of the NYS Energy Law. The intent of the law is to require the new construction and "substantial renovation" of State buildings to be "green". The main provisions of the bill are:

* The State is to give "preference" to reconstruction of existing buildings in considering the need for new construction.

* The NYS Department of Conservation (DEC) shall "promulgate rules and regulations in order to implement the purpose of this article."

* When developing the rules and regulations, the DEC is to be "informed" by the LEED criteria developed by the USGBC, the Green Globes rating system developed by the Green Building Initiative, historic preservation considerations, and reference the "Green Building Credit" in the State's Tax Law (Section 19).

* The definition of "substantial renovations" uses the "50% rule" discussed in my February 27, 2009 post ("NY State Bar Association issues report on Climate Change"). Renovations of less than 50% of any building "subsystem" are exempt from the law. The law also exempts projects for which the "consultant selection process or in house design has been completed."

The DEC has already promulated regulations setting forth green building standards for construction qualifying for the "Green Building Credit" (6 NYCRR 638.7) It is worth noting that the State has chosen to adopt its own "green building" standards, and has not adopted LEED, Green Globes or other existing standard by reference.


  1. Nice, Here we came to know about the Green building construction act and also given the main provisions of the bill.

    The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated. The USGBC is best known for the development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and Greenbuild, a green building conference that promotes the green building industry.




Being a land use attorney brings a unique perspective to the many interests at play in the making of land use decisions. In the course of any application, you encounter public policy and private property issues that require both advocacy and compromise in hopefully attaining the goals of your client while serving the common good.

Recently, I have been immersed in issues involving "green building" and sustainable development. I have researched the "legislating" of "green building", familiarized myself with "LEED" and other "green building" certification models, and studied the science of environmental impacts on commercial, industrial and residential development to gain an overview of what might be accomplished by bringing concepts of sustainable development to the forefront in our planning processes.

My goal with this blog is to create a dialogue between towns, villages, cities, their planning boards and ZBA's, counties, developers, engineers, designers, surveyors, attorneys, IDA's, empire zones, building associations, and the like, in order to set a course in which "green building" and sustainable development become primary in the decisionmaking on all land use matters. This is a "from the ground up" endeavor. Let's make things happen!

Jay R. Myrow