Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was without a doubt a major catalyst in reducing building carbon footprints throughout the country.
In true New York City (NYC) fashion, city regulations have set stringent mandatory requirements on any new construction.
As buyers are becoming more sustainably educated, NYC’s savvy developers are embracing recent energy codes and presenting the housing market with energy efficient living opportunities focusing on preferred amenities and not necessarily taking extra steps associated with voluntary certifications that add a three-digit price-per-square-foot.
While LEED and other green certified programs continue their noble endeavors, daily ingenuity in marketing from real estate brokers in metropolitan cities achieve the allure of green living without the once defining credentials.
In 2014, NYC revised its own energy code, the New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) to become even stricter.
What many do not realize is that key provisions of the NYCECC match many LEED efficiency requirements, bringing developers to a higher building standard at a time when the city is already encumbered by unprecedented land and construction prices.
Where LEED remains a front-runner is its focus on overall carbon emission reduction, as the city’s energy code does not address the source of building materials or the embodied energy of a material.
Whether wood from Upstate New York, bamboo or an exotic species from half way around the world is used, the city code only focuses on meeting the code’s performance requirements.
Additionally, LEED incentivizes increase building occupant’s quality of life with high standards for indoor air quality, whereas the city code only minimally addresses building air quality.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, New York ranks highest in electricity prices only behind Hawaii and Alaska.
Increased city energy mandates are creating complimentary opportunities for developers to tie in LEED with minimal additional steps in the certification process, with luxury townhome developments being one applicable product class.
The current state of the industry is what has driven the thought process of developer Dyal Compass and Architecture firm, Crown Architecture and Consulting D.P.C in developing LEED Certified Green Home, 4 Bedford Street in Manhattan.
4 Bedford is a fully renovated historic West Village home for the most environmentally conscience buyer, as the Federal period townhouse will be brought into the 21st century.
Careful consideration of state-of-the-art environmentally-friendly features, appliances, and building techniques will enhance the occupant’s quality of life.
At 4 Bedford, specific elements that create an environmentally conscience home, include high-efficiency HVAC equipment including a heat recovery system, highly insulated Low-E double hung windows and high-efficiency doors, continuous envelope insulation, LEED certified interior finishes, and high-efficiency appliances.
Truly making the home unique are re-purposed wood flooring made from the original salvaged joists, which reflect a warmth and charm that melds the past with the present.
These juxtapose beautifully with the contemporary architectural details, most evident in the stunning open multi-floor staircase with large skylights that flood the entire home with light.
One of the most expensive features to any green building, only amplified in NYC, is the green roof. Outdoor greenspaces increase building value and also have a positive environmental impact. 4 Bedford’s low water consumption vegetative roof is designed to maximize eco-friendly possibilities, and includes a rainwater harvesting system.
New York City will remain a leader in stringent regulations and will continue enacting stricter policies than required by state and national regulations.
Mayor de Blasio, searching for slivers of unaccomplished or untapped initiatives from his predecessor, Mayor Bloomberg, released his new energy efficiency plans last month, implementing more stringent energy-efficient standards aimed to reduce all city emissions 80 percent by 2050.
As such, the city must to be more aggressive in introducing incentives that allow us to be at the forefront of innovation.
Incentives that harvest the ability to afford enacting the solutions that will allow the city to keep pace with our aging infrastructure and reduce our overall carbon footprint.
This editorial is part of a monthly collaboration between Real Estate Weekly and Real Estate Services Alliance (RESA). RESA is a group of best-in-class service providers who service New York City’s, as well as national, leading principals and corporations.