New York City advances ambitious sustainability goals, but faces significant challenges

February 07, 2012 |
Dwight Perkins

New York has made substantial progress on enacting standards and codes to help it achieve its goal of becoming one of the world’s greenest cities, but the biggest challenges may lie ahead. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn recently announced that 29 recommendations aimed at making the city’s buildings more sustainable have been drafted into law. Eight more recommendations are currently being codified.

The city says that the implementation of the new laws will reduce greenhouse emissions by 5% citywide, making for a $400 million savings by 2030. Some of the laws include no use of artificial lighting where natural lighting is efficient, water fountains instead of vending machines, and white roofs that reflect the sun’s heat. The city is also working to remove red tape that impedes green design.

What has been done so far, though, may represent the lowest hanging fruit and further moves may be more difficult to accomplish. The Urban Green Council, a nonprofit whose goal is to lead sustainable urban design, produced a report two years ago with 111 recommendations. “With only two years left for the administration and the current council class, how many more of these initiatives will be passed?” asks the New York Observer.


NOTE: This information is the opinion of the author/blogger and not the official position of IAPMO.

Dwight Perkins | Codes and Standards

Dwight Perkins is the Senior Director of Field Operations for the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and orchestrates the code adoption efforts of 11 other IAPMO Field Service regions as well as directly working with the state code agencies in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon. Mr. Perkins has more than 35 years experience in the plumbing industry starting as an Apprentice in Alaska moving through the ranks to become a Journeyman Plumber and Business Manager of with UA Local 262. Prior to joining IAPMO, Perkins served in the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly while worked as Deputy Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. He is extremely familiar with the demands jurisdictions face on a daily basis and he is particularly well suited to address those needs. Mr. Perkins may be contacted at IAPMO at 503-982-1193 or email

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