February 2020: A Greener Big Apple - Gabriele Sewtz
February A Greener Big Apple Gabriele Sewtz

The Jump Off

The Big Apple is going green! NYC will be carbon neutral by 2050. That means that green roofs and wind turbines are only some of the changes we can expect to see in the coming years.

The Process

Since housing accounts for two-thirds (yes, you read that right) of the city’s planet-warming pollution, the new city laws will tackle our carbon footprint with loans for eco-upgrades and penalties for non-compliance. Passive houses are the way of the future and developers are looking to LEED certification for sustainable and greener homes. What is LEED? Much like the USDA label certifies a food is organic, LEED sets the standard for eco-friendly buildings. And thanks to that standard, New York is leading the way to greater efficiencies and reduced energy uses with buildings as iconic as the Empire State Building taking home the Gold.

The Wrap Up

Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing. The city’s brownstone neighborhoods will be hard to retrofit with solar panels and the like, though there will be tax abatements to help with the cost. In general, it will be interesting to see how developers will embrace the new green standard — and whether consumers are ready to pay the premium for it.

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