New York City pushes circular economy in building construction

14 March 2024 13:38

New York - The New York City Economic Development Corporation, or NYEDC, has released a set of guidelines for circular economic practices that will reduce carbon emissions in the city. The guidelines aim to recycle 75 percent of construction materials and ensure that 25 percent of new building materials are low-carbon products.

New York City has released guidelines on leveraging the circular economy to reduce carbon emissions from construction projects and finished buildings.

Contained in the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Clean and Circular: Design and Construction Guidelines, the new measures aim to recycle 75 percent of construction and demolition materials that now go to landfills, reuse and recycle 95 percent of concrete and soil, and ensure that 25 percent of new building materials are low-carbon products, a March 7 press release said.

“If we want to decarbonize our built environment and lower our carbon emissions, it is critical we prioritize the scaling of the clean construction industry," said NYCEDC President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kimball, adding that he estimates that New York City will have 400,000 so-called “green collar” jobs by 2040.

The Science Park and Research Campus Kips Bay in Manhattan, a nearly 2-million-square-foot innovation and education center, will be the first large project to follow the new circular guidelines. The project would emit 26,400 metric tons of less carbon emissions than a traditional structure – the same as removing nearly 5,800 cars from the city’s streets.

As part of the announcement, the NYCEDC also picked seven teams to join the NYC Mass Timber Studio, a technical assistance program that supports mass timber development projects in the city. Timber has a lower carbon imprint than steel and concrete.

“Our Department is eagerly looking forward to engaging with the seven design teams and helping guide them through new mass timber code provisions in the NYC Building Code as they commence with their sustainability projects,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo. ce/jd