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Green Codes Task Force Proposals
Photo Credit: DEP
Green Codes Task Force (GCTF) Proposals

Greening New York City's construction codes is a complex undertaking because the impacts of buildings are regulated by a large number of City codes and regulations. This includes not just the family of codes known as the Construction Codes, which consists of the Electrical Code, the Building Code, the Mechanical Code, etc., but also other codes, such as the Health Code, the Zoning Resolution and the Housing Maintenance Code. There are also a series of agency regulations separate from the codes that also have an impact. The Green Codes Task Force (GCTF) was free to propose changes to any and all of these codes and regulations. And it was asked to consider not only what new requirements should be created, but also which impediments to sustainability should be removed.

The result was 111 proposals that span the gamut. The first group of proposals speaks to fundamental issues, such as enhanced code enforcement or changing the fundamental purpose of the building code to include environmental protection along with health and safety. Others address specific issues, such as water or resource conservation, that follow categories that are similar to those of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) system. A large number of proposals—51 in all—address energy and carbon and are divided into three sections. One of those sections, Operations and Maintenance, goes beyond the traditional focus of the codes on construction, yet contains many of the highest impact proposals. Finally, GCTF looked at some new, emerging issues, such as how buildings might be designed to make them more resilient in the face of climate change, or what could be done to increase daily physical activity for inhabitants of buildings to help combat obesity.

Summary and Proposal Downloads
For a summary of each proposal, and more information on the Task Force itself, download the GCTF Executive Summary (in PDF). Preliminary legal language for each proposal is also available, packaged with an explanation of the rationale, precedents and expected environmental benefits in the GCTF Full Report (in PDF). Finally, in partnership with Lend Lease (formerly Bovis Lend Lease), GCTF priced out the cost impacts (in PDF) of most of the proposals along with the annual savings from the energy and water ones, based on the New York City Department of Building's standard building prototypes.

Overarching Code Issues (in PDF)
Health & Toxicity (in PDF)
Energy & Carbon: Fundamentals (in PDF)
Energy & Carbon: Operations & Maintenance (in PDF)
Energy & Carbon: Energy Efficiency (in PDF)
Building Resilience (in PDF)
Resource Conservation (in PDF)
Water Efficiency (in PDF)
Stormwater (in PDF)
Urban Ecology (in PDF)

See enacted GCTF proposals.

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