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Generally speaking, the rubric of Green Building covers:

  • Energy usage
  • Water usage
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Lighting Quality

There has been a tremendous increase of interest in the concept of Sustainable Building lately (also referred to as High-Performance or Green Building.)  In New York City, there have been a number of projects in the last few years that emphasize the viability of the concept. The State of New York also encourages the greening of buildings both by prescriptive requirements for official buildings and by subsidies and grants and research programs. Such grants are available through different sources such as the New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA.)

According to the preliminary results of tests by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 52% of the greenhouse gases in New York State are associated with the energy consumed by buildings, while only 35% are from transportation.  In addition, the Natural Resources Defense Council has found that an average cost of approximately 30% would be saved when a building's equipment and systems––HVAC, plumbing, electricity––are designed, constructed, operated and maintained correctly.