Mihai Andritoiu

Today's design is much more complicated than it ever has been, with regulations for sustainability, affordability, location, and health and well-being. New York City is taking all of these factors very seriously and is considering new regulations that will mandate a more integrated approach to future housing in the city.

Read on in this New York Times piece that highlights best practices from projects that are in design and development.

New York’s ambitious plan to fight climate change by virtually eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is underway — and the battle begins at home.

Two-thirds of the city’s planet-warming pollution is produced by buildings, primarily residential ones, according to a 2017 inventory. In spite of recent efforts, impeded in part by years of intense building, the city reduced greenhouse gas emissions by only 14.8 percent from 2005 to 2015.

But the aggressive new plans passed at city and state levels could mean a fundamental reimagining of one of the world’s most recognizable high-rise cities. The changes touch every corner of the housing market, from affordable to luxury development and prewar walk-ups to glassy new towers.

In June, state lawmakers passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and possibly offset the remaining pollution with carbon dioxide-removing strategies, like planting trees.

Similarly, a raft of New York City bills passed in April, known as the Climate Mobilization Act, offers a road map to net-zero emissions, including stringent pollution guidelines for about 50,000 buildings that are 25,000 square feet or larger, with high fees for noncompliance; a loan program for renewable energy upgrades; requirements for some buildings to have “green roofs” covered in plants and solar panels; and new rules that could make rooftop wind turbines a common sight on the skyline.

The changes could affect not just what gets built in the city, but also how it is built, and for whom.

Affordable housing will likely be at the vanguard, because of government incentives and the cost-saving benefits of sustainable features. Luxury developers, too, will be compelled, by conscience or fines, to devise greener versions of high-rise towers. And thousands of older buildings will be required to make pollution-reducing upgrades.

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