Developers and Developers Call for State and Federal Help

Climate change, global warming, and an impending existential threat for the earth, demand a multifaceted approach to climate change policy. New York City, New York, has a lot to lose from climate change. Developers and owners of landmarked buildings are especially engaged, and in recent years developers have realized it would be valuable to build energy efficient buildings and create more projects that are 100 percent net zero.

NYC Green Building Council is an advocacy association of companies and institutions that is dedicated to the development and building of environmentally sustainable buildings and sustainable communities. We provide training and technical assistance to developers, owners, and contractors and support the development of energy efficient properties.

Some real estate development projects help to address climate change and prepare for the impacts of a warming planet. According to the Green Building Council’s Net Zero Buildings Index, which tracks energy use in buildings in the U.S., New York City has made notable strides in the last decade, since its early attempts to build more sustainable buildings.

Net zero buildings need less energy to operate, making them a low-carbon alternative to existing buildings. New York City’s latest leadership in net zero buildings, the net zero Net High Tech Center, is a LEED Gold-certified project. The Green Lab Center, which is built with surplus city land, is a combination residence/office building. It uses state-of-the-art technology, ranging from solar panels to bike elevators to achieve a net zero output of electricity.

One project on Staten Island is an 82-unit apartment building. The building takes pride in what they deem to be an inclusive community, which is what makes it more sustainable. Sixteen of the apartments have three-person households, and seven have two-person households.

Net zero buildings on Staten Island include:

Creative Good, 60,722-square-foot multifamily condominium

Brooklyn Innovations, a 1,050-square-foot multi-family/rental

Housebridge Plaza, 22,957-square-foot multifamily apartment

Koss Mansion apartments, 89,520-square-foot multi-family condominium

The artists’ co-op, 143,880-square-foot multi-family condominium

L’Érale , a 164-unit housing complex

Onepulii, a 177-unit multi-family housing complex

Main Street Neighbors, a 183-unit housing complex

Park Avenue, a 192-unit residential housing project

Rumpus, a 176-unit residential housing project

Sayre, a 167-unit residential housing project

Tucatan, a 198-unit residential housing project

Tarsus Manor, an 126-unit housing project

The Link, a 172-unit apartment complex

West 13th Terrace, a 192-unit rental complex

Akin to the Kyoto protocol, ambitious climate targets must be met by the end of the 21st century to avoid dangerous impacts of climate change, and net zero energy buildings that meet that goal are essential to meeting those targets.

“Net zero” is a term for “sustainable energy systems” (i.e. electricity, heat, and cooling/cold), in which energy demand is essentially zero and emissions are minimal. One goal of the Green Buildings Council Net Zero® Initiative is to stimulate the construction of net zero homes for New York City residents who will be able to remain in their homes and communities. The Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) is a critical partner of the initiative, as it is an innovative tool that allows owners of existing buildings to lower their taxes by investing in renewable energy.

Net zero buildings are just one of several options to a thoughtful and sustainable city. For more information about the net zero initiative, visit or contact [email protected]

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