Building green in New York City just got a whole lot easier. The New York City Council has updated some archaic zoning laws, enabling energy efficient and solar-powered buildings to be constructed with ease. Citywide zoning regulations, called Zone Green, will now allow for both rooftop solar systems, as well as wind turbines to be more easily installed by cutting permit costs and eliminating bureaucratic red tape. The new ordinances are expected to save $15 billion in energy costs.
Zone Green includes 10 modifications to the city’s zoning rules, allowing for simpler implementation new solar and wind power systems, as well as retrofitting existing buildings. Through this impressive initiative, New York City is expected to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions, with a goal of 30% set by 2030.
The new zoning modifications will incorporate the modern, energy efficient technologies that were not in creation when the zoning laws were last updated in 1961. The modifications will make building upgrading easier without having to jump through the hoops of zoning red tape.
One major concern was the zoning for building height, which has not been amended since 1916. Adding solar and wind equipment to existing buildings has posed as a problem with the existing zoning laws until Zone Green, as the systems add height to the buildings.
But now that energy efficient and green building systems are a common practice, the city has reconsidered these regulations, in an attempt to help move New York City forward and reduce its carbon footprint, rather than discouraging it by creating obstacles.
Green Zone furthers Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative, and gives the green light for rooftop solar panels, freestanding wind turbines, green roof equipment, sun control devices and energy efficient insulation.