As New York green contractors we follow the latest developments in NY building codes very closely.  Yesterday, the New York City Council enacted three proposals from the Urban Green Task Force.  The new codes, effective July 1, 2012, mandate more stringent regulation of waste, recycling, and pollutant filtration, representing a step forward for green building.


Introduction 0576-2011: Treat Corrosive Concrete Wastewater

Wastewater from concrete trucks or containers  must either be treated on site or returned to the manufacturing plant for treatment.  Rinsing and wastewater containers must be located at least 30 feet from sewers.  Corrosive wastewater from construction sites may no longer be discharged into rivers or public streets.

Introduction 0578-2011: Use Recycled Asphalt

At least 10% recycled asphalt must be used in heavy duty construction applications, and at least 30% in constructing new streets and buildings.  Allowing asphalt diverted from the construction waste stream to be reintegrated into new asphalt reduces construction waste and consumption of new materials.

Introduction 0592-2011: Filter Soot from Incoming Air

Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems will be required to filter out soot and other pollutants at a rating of MERV 11 or greater, increasing the quality of indoor air by restricting the concentration of outside pollutants.

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) measures performance of air purifiers treating air for entire houses or buildings.  Scores range from 1-16, and up to 20 in special applications.  Filters are rated based on the efficiency with which they remove particles of varying sizes from the air.  Purifiers rated at MERV 11 are capable of trapping auto emissions and smog, among other urban pollutants.


We’re excited to see New York moving forward with more green considerations in city-wide construction.  We pride ourselves on being the most innovative green contractor in the city, but we’re looking forward to a day when green construction practices are no longer innovative, but commonplace.


Click through for more detailed summaries of the new codes on the Urban Green website.  Search by proposal number or topic to find them.