Although there are more than 100,000 architecture, lighting design, and real estate professionals in the New York City area who design, specify, supply, purchase, and install some form of lighting, there is no independent lighting-resource center that can meet the needs of this diverse professional population. Couple that with New York City's ambitious PlaNYC 2030, which seeks to significantly reduce the city's environmental footprint by 30 percent in 2030, and there will be a greater need for a lighting center to help the city implement more sustainable, energy-efficient strategies.
Now, thanks to the hard work of leading design and real estate professionals in the city, such a center and organization is one step closer to reality. Green Light New York, an independent nonprofit, has been formed “to promote quality, energy efficient lighting in New York City by creating a center for training, design assistance, and educational resources; a venue for mock-ups and display; and a forum for progressive discourse.”
Day-to-day activities are under the direction of project director Richard Yancey, who has been organizing educational programs and events over the past year, while also overseeing the process of finding space for the center's permanent home. Yancey works closely with an esteemed group of design and city leaders who serve on both the Board of Directors and the Technical Advisory Group.
Initiated by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2007, PlaNYC is an expansive effort to prepare the city for an additional 1 million residents, strengthen the city's economy, combat climate change, and enhance quality of life. The plan unites 25 city agencies to work toward a greener New York.
“Putting huge goals in place requires a new code and new techniques,” Yancey says. “Lighting is the vehicle to start it [the process].” That is certainly the case given the city's recent implementation of several local laws that require architects, lighting designers, and building owners to be even more acutely aware of lighting issues than before. Local Law 84 requires that all renovations comply with the New York City Energy Code, while Local Law 88 requires that all lighting systems be upgraded to meet the energy code and that submeters be installed in all 10,000-square-foot or larger commercial tenant spaces by 2025. This effects approximately 22,000 buildings and 1.25 billion square feet of commercial real estate in the city—45 percent of New York City's total floor space.
With this in mind, it is no wonder that lighting will play a vital role in helping the city to achieve its goal. With lighting-resource centers in San Francisco and Seattle as references, Yancey sees this new center as New York's “living room for efficiency discussions.” Funding is being secured to purchase a space, and Yancey hopes these details will be finalized shortly so that the space can open this year.
Infographic Source: Green Light New York