Regulatory changes would go further than any major US city to remove obstacles to Green Buildings and energy efficiency. Zone Green builds on PlaNYC to create potential annual energy savings of up to $800 million, improve the environment and create jobs.
Key Zone Green zoning proposals
- To create energy efficient building walls, allow existing buildings to add external insulation within their property line by exempting insulation from floor area and yard requirements. Reward new buildings that exceed current energy efficiency standards by partially exempting more efficient walls from floor area calculations.
- Revise regulations to allow solar panels on roofs to penetrate maximum building height limits.
- Permit sun control devices such as vertical or horizontal shades or screens to project from building facades over required open areas. These devices can help reduce the need for air conditioning and lighting, but are often prohibited.
- Amend regulations to foster green roofs and skylights as well as the use of rooftops for managing stormwater or accommodating cogeneration facilities. Allow more flexibility for bulkheads to accommodate multiple rooftop uses.
- Subject to certification from the Chair of the City Planning Commission, waive floor area and height limits for rooftop greenhouses on buildings without residences or sleeping accommodations.
- Wind energy generation makes the most sense on taller buildings and near the waterfront where winds are more consistent. Proposed zoning changes would allow small wind turbines above building height limits on buildings taller than 100 feet and on buildings lower than 100 feet near the waterfront, except in low-density residence districts.
Related City legislation would tighten the energy performance standards for a building’s envelope (walls, windows, roof). This would ensure the long-term energy efficiency of these buildings.
Zone Green also proposes a targeted amendment to the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law to allow the external insulation of buildings built before 1961.
The proposed text amendment will undergo a complete public review process, including referral for 60 days to all community boards, borough boards and borough presidents for review and comment, followed by review by the City Planning Commission and City Council.