Headlines have been swirling around various media outlets stating that, per Mayor Bill de Blasio, glass and steel skyscrapers will be banned in New York City moving forward. The Mayor made comments on Monday morning’s edition of Morning Joe on MSNBC where he was quoted saying, “We are going to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers, which are incredibly inefficient.”
This message took on various other similar forms and was picked up by multiple media outlets including a cover on the New York Post here in the city. De Blasio spoke on various media outlets using a similar tone of strong language that implied a ban. He stated that these traditional skyscrapers are contributing to global warming. This prompted many to begin to think about a New York where there would be no new glass and steel skyscrapers.
Are Glass and Steel Skyscrapers Being Banned?
The short answer: No!
The comments from de Blasio were made with very few details or facts supporting them. The Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability also chimed in to clarify that there is no prohibition on buildings made of glass in New York City.
It is important to note, however, that we are likely moving in a direction that would require construction to meet certain environmental efficiency standards. City Council just passed a package of bills which was inclusive of a mandate for building retrofits to reduce carbon footprint by 40 percent by the year 2030.
We are already seeing new construction as well as construction from recent years adapting to a more sustainable model by having projects certified as various LEED levels.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and was devised by the United States Green Building Council. This rating system is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, and the LEED certification is a globally recognized sustainability achievement.
The rating system evaluates the environmental performance of a building, and through this process, encourages market transformation. The evaluation looks at things such as materials, water efficiency, and performance such as indoor quality for occupant comfort.
Fun Fact: 10 Hudson Yards was the first commercial office space in New York to receive the coveted Platinum LEED certification.