Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo announced today that the State Green Building Construction Act (A.2005-C) has now been passed unanimously in both the Assembly (6/2/08) and State Senate (6/12/08).
She authored the legislation in response to rising energy costs and new developments in green technology. The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), the Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee. It will now be sent to Governor David Paterson for his consideration.
Other states already have policies that require green building practices for public buildings, Assemblywoman Lupardo said. Green building construction will not only help our environment, but it will help New Yorks economy and save money for businesses and taxpayers. In addition, it will create the new green collar jobs that are fast becoming an economic driver.
Assemblywoman Lupardos legislation will 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.
Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY) notes on their website that state agencies are New Yorks 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 states operations and maintenance costs over a buildings lifetime.
Green buildings use resources, including energy, water, materials and land more efficiently and effectively and provide healthier environments for working, learning and living, Assemblywoman 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.
NYSERDA notes the following facts about green buildings on their website:
- The US Department of Energy states that today's buildings consume more energy than any other sector of the U.S. economy, including transportation and industry;
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that building-related illnesses account for $60 billion of annual productivity lost nationwide;
- Green or high performance buildings typically lease or sell faster, and retain and attract tenants better because they combine superior amenity and comfort with lower occupancy costs and more competitive terms;
- Energy and water efficient buildings reduce operating costs to less than half those of a traditional building by employing green design concepts;
- Improved indoor environments can increase employee productivity by up to 16 percent;
Well integrated and comprehensive green building projects can result in lower or neutral incremental project development costs; and
- Studies indicate that Americans spend up to 90% of their day indoors. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, air quality inside buildings is sometimes two to five times worse than outside air.