It many circles it’s considered socially or politically correct to “go green” when embarking on new construction projects or updating an existing property. Cost-saving initiatives include solar roofs, energy-efficient lighting and appliances. With these inherent benefits, boards and managing agents are expressing interest in all things green, which is in line with New York’s celebrated sustainable reputation.
In January 2013, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that New York was ranked seventh in the nation in new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications in 2012, moving three spots up from its No. 10 spot in 2011. The annual study ranks states based on the amount of LEED-certified space per capita. With 34.4 million square feet of LEED-certified space, New York certified 1.77 square feet per resident.
The State of the Industry
While the ripples from the recent recession are still being realized in many industries, green building was a subset of the construction industry that sustained the least fallout. It is true from 2008 to 2010 there was a grounding of related projects, but in the last few years a steady increase of job orders is being filled. For example, IBISWorld released a report last year, “Sustainable Building Material Manufacturing in the US,” which projected an average sector growth of 7.3 percent per year over the next five years.
Precision Paragon, a commercial lighting manufacturer, also released a report last year finding that the energy-efficient lighting market experienced steady growth in 2012. It is predicted that LED-based illumination lighting will make up five percent of the indoor lighting market within the next three years. This growth is due, in part, to governmental regulations.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires a 25 percent increase in the energy efficiency of light bulbs, which places a stranglehold on those manufacturers that are unable to increase incandescent bulb efficiency by such a large percentage. As of January 2012, 100-watt incandescent light bulbs that fail to meet the new efficiency standard are prohibited. This January, the law was modified to include 75-watt bulbs. Next January, 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs will also be subject to this law.