New York isn’t known for being the cleanest place on the planet. The New York Times has released an article detailing the feasibility of of the city’s plan to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and the outlook is dire if not impossible.
A group of NYC bills known as the Climate Mobilization Act were passed this April. They impose strict regulations for tens of thousands of buildings in the city. The Act requires significant change in order to reduce emissions to zero, and offers loan options for construction done to buildings to make them more efficient alongside harsh enforcement policies like expensive fines for non-compliant buildings.
The Times piece reports that two third’s of the city’s climate crisis effecting emissions are from buildings, and that the majority of those buildings are residential.
The Times predicts that Luxury developers will be effected by the new laws, as high rise buildings fall into the strike zone of the Act’s provisions. They even suggest that wind turbines along the NYC skyline could become a new normal.
Some of the changes they predict luxury buildings will have to make are the reduction of floor to ceiling windows, a nightmare for insulation, as well as high-ceilings. To quell the fears of well-moneyed homebuyers, though, the new building at 77 Greenwich is used as an example of a luxury building with responsible sustainability standards. The FiDi building reportedly operates at 30 percent higher energy efficiency than the standard mandated by current laws.
Though the design of high rise buildings will undoubtedly change as the city is forced to get more serious about energy efficiency, design in major metropolitan areas is always in flux. And, on the bright side, at least the new energy laws ensure that in the future there’ll be a city at all.