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Green Housing

Providing heat and power to buildings accounts for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. In the last several years, New York City has been stepping up its efforts to apply green standards to its buildings.

The city passed Local Law 86 three years ago which required municipal construction projects costing $2 million or more to achieve a silver rating from the green building certification system known as LEED – or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The LEED rating system was created by the nonprofit trade organization U.S. Green Building Council.

Our program features different strategies New York architects, politicians, and designers are using to lessen the negative impact housing has on the environment.

[audio:http://cdn.journalism.cuny.edu/blogs.dir/150/files/2008/12/20081210_thisplace_podcast_03_bounce-011.mp3]

The Bronx has been victim to toxic dumping. Last year, officials found toxins in Pelham Bay Landfills. This spring they tested Baychester Public School walls and found materials over 2,000 times the amount considered toxic waste by the Environmental Protection Agency. This is a main reason why advocates of public housing are looking to green materials to safen this borough for its residents.

Architect Fernando Villa is excited as he overlooks the cliffside lot where his first green building will go up next year. He plans to beautify the Bronx, the borough he calls “inspiring,” by building safe, effecient, aesthetically pleasing apartments.

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