Advance Sustainable Building Policy

By changing codes we can impact every current and future building. Our efforts have changed New York City’s green building landscape and shaped the building code to be among the most efficient and resilient in the nation.

We have lead blue ribbon commissions, like the Green Codes Task Force and Building Resiliency Task Force. We served in leadership roles in city-lead working groups such as the One City Built to Last Buildings Technical Working Group.

Urban Green continues to play a central role in New York City’s greening and resilience efforts. And now, we’re expanding our thought-leadership and advocacy at the state level too. As we have in NYC, we will ensure that the real estate industry is connected to and involved with program planning and design, to create program structures that are high-impact and cost-effective for the state.

With smart policies and programs, New York City and State will remain green-building leaders. And Urban Green will be there to help them along the way.


  • Historic Buildings: We are promoting updates to rules for NYC historic buildings to increase energy efficiency and sustainability.
  • Zoning: We are developing amendments to zoning resolution to remove impediments and promote sustainability improvements.
  • Greener, Greater Buildings Plan Expansion: We are advancing policy for expansion of benchmarking, small-building audits, and energy efficiency training.
  • Appliances: We are developing proposals for adoption of appliance standards and improvements in NYC or NYS.
  • Building Systems: We are developing policy proposals for targeted building system improvements, such as steam systems.
  • Audit Form: We are supporting development of improved Local Law 87 audit form.
  • Omnibus Energy Efficiency Bill: We are developing and promoting comprehensive legislation to drive new and existing buildings to meet 80 x 50 targets.
  • Solar Thermal: We are conducting preliminary cost/benefit analysis of solar thermal for NYC multifamily buildings.
  • Room Air Conditioner Study: We are conducting laboratory and field tests of thermal bridging and air leakage related to room ACs.


  • New York City Energy and Water Use 2013 Report: We delved into the systems, fuel types and materials used in thousands of NYC buildings based on benchmarking and auditing data in a report with NYU CUSP and the NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability.
  • Worldwide Lessons: We analyzed green building policies and practices in 5 global cities in collaboration with Atelier Ten.
  • Building Resiliency Task Force: We led the Building Resiliency Task Force at the city’s request after Hurricane Sandy and published a report with 33 actionable recommendations (read below).
  • 90 by 50: We laid out a pathway to 90% carbon emissions reductions in NYC by 2050.
  • Green Codes Task Force: We led the Green Codes Task Force in 2010 which produced a report with 111 recommendations, 52 of which have been adopted so far (read below).






Explore the systems, fuel types and materials used in thousands of NYC buildings.





Compare building policies and practices in 5 global cities.





The average room air conditioner leaks as much air as a six-inch-square hole.