in an effort to reduce new york city's energy consumption and the production of pollutants, the city council voted in September 2005 to amend the New York City charter in relation to green building standards for certain capital projects (those paid for in whole or in part by the City). New York now follows other municipalities such as Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle in adopting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. New section 224.1 requires compliance with green building standards and reduction in building energy costs. It features a specific addition pertaining to lighting: As of January 1, 2007, any capital project involving the installation or replacement of lighting systems in any building at an estimated construction cost of $1 million or more shall be designed and constructed to reduce energy costs by a minimum of 10 percent, as determined by the methodology prescribed in LEED energy and atmosphere Credit 1 or the New York State energy conservation code, whichever is more stringent.
Placing an emphasis on LEED standards, the addition of the new section is the council's response to the impact of building construction on human health and the environment. As written in section 224.1, 'The use of green building criteria will substantially reduce the city's electricity consumption, air pollution, and water use, as well as improve occupant health and worker productivity, and encourage market transformation, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and allow new power plants to displace power from less efficient and dirtier existing plants.' A|L