Assemblywoman Lupardo’s State Green Building Initiative Advanced by the Assembly Energy Committee

In response to rising energy costs and new developments in green technology, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) has introduced legislation (A.11537) to require green building standards for new construction or substantial renovation of all New York State government buildings, which includes all State agencies and public authorities.

The legislation promotes energy conservation and resource management through the implementation of the United States Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environment Design Silver Rating Level and “green base building” standards established pursuant to New York State’s Green Building Tax Credit Act. The legislation also requires the use of life cycle cost analysis in the planning for the construction or substantial renovation of all State government buildings.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard that promotes the development of high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The New York State Green building Tax Credit signed into law in 2000 provides specific criteria for “green base buildings”.

Several states already have policies that require green building practices for public buildings. Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington require LEED silver rating level for new construction and major renovations. Starting in 2006, the United States Department of Environmental Protection Agency requires all major building construction projects undertaken by the Agency to achieve the LEED Standard to promote green building practices.

Green buildings use resources, including energy, water, materials and land more efficiently and effectively. Green buildings also provide healthier environments for working, learning and living. She noted that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation new central office in Albany was built using green building standards.

In June 2001, Governor Pataki issued Executive Order 111 which encourages but does not require state projects to seek LEED Certification. According to Assemblymember Lupardo, a member of the New York Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, “The State should be doing more to promote and implement energy saving technologies in response to rising energy prices. This legislation will increase participation into the program, encourage further development in green building practices, and save the State money.”