New York to Ban Glass Skyscrapers
In a move that is aimed to help tackle the ever growing problem of climate change New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city is to ban the construction of glass skyscrapers. It is hoped that the new regulations will help the city to cut greenhouse emissions by as much as 30 per cent. It is widely understood that such large structures made of all-glass facades can be inefficient, as energy escapes through the glass. It will be interesting to see if the move is accepted, as more cities and regions attempt to find new ways to tackle the problems, and the associated costs, of climate change and climate catastrophes.
The democratic mayor was quick to point out that all-glass facades are the number one cause of greenhouse emissions in New York. The planned bill will be introduced with a view to ban any new buildings where the plan is to create an all-glass skyscraper. It is also planned to look at the process of retro-fitting existing skyscrapers to ensure that they meet strict guidelines based around carbon-emissions.
Mayor de Blasio outlined the plan as part of his Green New Deal and said:
“If a company wants to build a big skyscraper they can use a lot of glass if they do all the other things needed to reduce the emissions.
“But putting up monuments to themselves that harmed our earth and threatened our future that will no longer be allowed in New York City.”
The Green New Deal also takes aim at changing the way the city is powered, with the plan to use clean electricity such as Canadian hydropower wherever possible. It also plans to bring mandatory organics recycling and congestion pricing into the city, with single-use plastic being phased out of use within food containers and processed meat over time.
The OneNYC2050 Strategy aims to align the city with the Paris Agreement and the terms, which were agreed by the vast majority of world governments (Donald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement in 2017). With so many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings in New York, for both commercial and residential purposes the ambitious plan, if successful, could meet its target of reducing the emissions in New York by 30 per cent before 2030.
Landlords will be forced to apply energy efficient standards to existing high-rise buildings, and the retro-fit part of the plan is believed to push the reduction to around 40 per cent by 2030, and 80 per cent by 2050, if successful. New York will be the first city in the world to mandate energy efficiency as a primary focus of governing building construction, and it will be interesting to see how innovative plans and architectural designs for new skyscrapers will be in the near future. Architects and designers have always been at the forefront of important changes in the way we live and function in urban environments, and with this regulatory change in New York, they will once again be tasked with coming up with environmentally-friendly ways to design and retro-fit skyscrapers in order to meet ambitious targets.