The Oil Drum: New York City

Helping New Yorkers understand, prepare and adapt to the implications of Peak Oil

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Voice Your Support for Green Buildings Bill

Please take a minute to help the NRDC (Natural Resource Defense Council) push for green buildings in NYC.

Here is the background they sent me:

Poor indoor air quality, inadequate ventilation and toxic chemicals from paint, carpet and other materials make too many buildings unhealthy places to live, work and go to school. In addition, commercial and residential buildings consume almost 70 percent of the electricity produced in the United States, making them responsible for huge amounts of air and water pollution.

The good news is that the New York City Council has introduced a "Green Buildings" bill that would require most new and substantially renovated city buildings (including $5 billion in new schools) to be built in the healthiest and most environmentally sound manner possible. Green buildings (which cost almost nothing more to construct than regular buildings) have better indoor air quality than regular buildings, and typically use carpets and paints that release fewer toxic gases. New Yorkers who would benefit from more green buildings include students, teachers and other city workers, along with members of building trades. The bill also would require many city building projects to use at least 20-25 percent less energy and 30 percent less water, not only saving millions of dollars a year in operating costs, but also reducing smog and other disease-causing air pollution produced by local power plants.

Another provision in the bill would encourage green buildings to use sustainable wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. One hundred percent of New York's state-owned forests are certified by the council, so the requirement would help protect the state's jobs as well as its forests. But the timber industry opposes the proposed certification system, and is trying to either kill the bill or to replace the wood certification standard with its own weaker system.

The city council is expected to vote on the Green Buildings bill on Wednesday, August 17th.

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I urge you to sign their letter to Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Miller!

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