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One City: Built to Last
One City: Built to Last

During NYC Climate Week 2014, Mayor de Blasio announced New York City’s bold commitment to reduce citywide emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from a 2005 baseline (80 by 50). As a key first step toward this new goal, New York City released on the same day One City: Built to Last (Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future), a ten-year action plan to improve the energy efficiency of New York City buildings by 2025. One City: Built to Last aims to reduce citywide emissions from energy used in buildings by 30 percent by 2025, and requires public buildings to lead by example by reducing 35 percent of emissions by 2025.
To achieve these goals, New York City will:
  • Complete efficiency improvements in every City-owned building that has significant energy use and install 100 megawatts (MW) of onsite renewable power.
  • Implement leading edge performance standards for new construction that cost-effectively achieve highly efficient buildings, looking to Passive House, carbon neutral, or “zero net energy” strategies to inform the standards.
  • Develop interim energy performance targets for existing buildings to be met through both voluntary reductions and new regulations, such as performance standards and measure-based mandates, which would be triggered if adequate reductions are not achieved.

By accelerating energy efficiency across the city, the plan will put New York City on a pathway to 80 by 50.
The plan adheres to five guiding principles:

  • Lead by example.
  • Empower New Yorkers to take action.
  • Hold New York City’s buildings to the highest energy performance standards.
  • Ensure benefits are shared by New Yorkers in every neighborhood.
  • Use data, analysis, and stakeholder feedback to drive the approach.

The initiatives within the plan fall under the following themes:

  • Public Buildings as Models for Sustainability
  • A Thriving Market for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • World Class Green Building and Energy Codes
  • A Global Hub for Clean Energy Technology and Innovation

The flagship program for private buildings announced in the plan is the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, a one-stop resource provided by the City to help owners and operators of privately owned buildings reduce operating costs and increase the sustainability of their properties through energy and water upgrades. Additional initiatives include implementing deep retrofits in key City buildings, strengthening requirements for new construction and renovations, bringing solar power to new neighborhoods, and launching the Buildings Technical Working Group and technical study to determine next steps for the building sector to reach 80 by 50. For more information, visit One City: Built to Last.

Download One City: Built to Last (Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future) (in PDF).

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