Assembly Passes State Green Building Construction Act

Legislation introduced by Lupardo will help environment and economy

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo announced today that the State Green Building Construction Act (A.2005-B) passed unanimously in the Assembly. She authored the legislation in response to rising energy costs and new developments in green technology.

“Other states already have policies that require green building practices for public buildings,” Lupardo said. “Green building construction will not only help our environment, but it will help New York’s economy and save money for businesses and taxpayers. In addition, it will crate the new ‘green collar’ jobs that are fast becoming an economic driver.”

Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY), the Sierra Club (Atlantic Chapter), the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA New York State) have all come out in support of Lupardo’s State Green Building Construction Act.

The legislation is a priority issue for Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY). They have given the bill a “two tree” rating, which, according to their website, “bring substantial benefits to New York’s environment if implemented.”

EANY also notes on their website that state agencies are New York’s largest energy user. Given the large number of facilities owned and operated by state government, meeting energy and resource performance standards would result in decreased energy use, increased use of recycled materials and potential reduction in the state’s operations and maintenance costs over a building’s lifetime.

Lupardo’s legislation would require that the state develop green building standards for all new construction or substantial renovation of all New York State government buildings, including all state agencies and public authorities. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will work with other agencies, such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), to develop the new regulations.

“Green buildings use resources, including energy, water, materials and land more efficiently and effectively and provide healthier environments for working, learning and living,” Lupardo said. “They also minimize the negative environmental consequences and produce less waste. This is a common-sense measure that we can all benefit from.”

Lupardo, a member of the Environmental Conservation Committee, noted that her bill compliments Governor Eliot Spitzer’s goal to reduce electric energy consumption by 15 percent below the forecasted level in 2015 through improved efficiency.

Similar legislation (S.5442-A) is being sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), the Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee. The bill is currently in the Energy and Telecommunications Committee in the Senate.

Lupardo said she is optimistic that both the Assembly and Senate will pass identical legislation this year. Similar versions were passed in both chambers last year.