Assemblywoman Lupardo’s State Green Building Construction Act Signed by Governor Paterson

Governor also signs measure to provide “green” incentives to homeowners and builders

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced at a news conference that Governor David Paterson has signed two new measures to promote “green building” in New York: The State Green Building Construction Act, authored by Assemblywoman Lupardo, and a new green residential building grant program, which she co-sponsored.

“Green buildings use less energy, are environmentally friendly and will help New York’s economy by saving money for businesses and taxpayers,” Assemblywoman Lupardo said. “In addition, green building construction will create the new ‘green collar’ jobs of the future.”

“I am proud to sign these bills into law establishing the first residential green building grant program for New York State. There are numerous environmental benefits to building green including reducing greenhouse gases, lowering energy costs, improving air quality, preventing pollution and conserving natural resources,” said Governor Paterson. “As a society we must continue to find ways to improve our environment and this program, along with the green building construction act, is one of many steps my administration has taken to ensure that we leave our future generations with a cleaner, healthier society in which to live.”

The State Green Building Construction Act, authored by Assemblywoman Lupardo, will require the state Office of General Services (OGS) to develop green building standards for New York State government buildings, including state agencies and public authorities. The new law, which will go into effect in 2010, will require future construction and substantial renovation of all state buildings to conform to the new “green building” principles.

The State Green Building Construction Act was actively supported by the following groups: the American Institute of Architects (AIA) of New York State, Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY), the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter.

Edward C. Farrell, Executive Director of AIA New York State, said: “I commend Assemblywoman Lupardo for her support and leadership in making this bill become law. Architects know that buildings are the primary contributors of both greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Assemblywoman Lupardo is leading the state in a direction that will address this serious problem. The enactment of the Green Building Construction Act was AIA’s top legislative priority this year.”

Jackson Morris, Air & Energy Program Associate for EANY, said: "The Green Building Construction Act will significantly reduce New York State's use of energy and precious resources, as our state agencies are also our biggest energy consumers. By incorporating green building standards in all new construction and substantial renovations of state buildings, the state will decrease energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, increase the use of recycled materials, and reduce operation and maintenance costs for these state buildings over their lifetime."

Norreida Reyes, Conservation Director of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter said: “The Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter congratulates Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo on the successful enactment into law of the State Green Building Construction Act. We greatly value Ms. Lupardo’s leadership on this important legislation, which will not only assure the best in New York State's energy efficiency and cost-saving measures, but will also foster new developments in green technologies leading to green jobs and a low-carbon economy.”

New grant program for homeowners

The green residential building grant program, co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Lupardo, will provide financial incentives to state residents who follow “green building” standards when building new homes or renovating existing ones. The new program will be offered through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

One-family and two-family homes will be eligible for grants up to up to $7,500, residential buildings with three to six dwelling units will be eligible for up to $11,250, and residential buildings with more than six dwelling units will be eligible for up to $15,000. The new green residential building program will begin on January 1, 2010.

Assemblywoman Lupardo was joined at the news conference today by members of the Southern Tier Home Builders and Remodelers Association (STHBRA), who were holding a two-day class to train members on green building and renovation. The “Green Building for Building Professionals” course will educate local professionals on practices and materials that create safe and sustainable homes.

“Builders and homeowners who ‘go green’ use resources, including energy, water, materials and land more efficiently and produce less waste,” Assemblywoman Lupardo said. “They also improve indoor air quality and provide healthier environments.”