A row of two electric hand driers mounted to a bathroom wall.

GreenNY Specification: Electronic Hand Dryers

Covered Products

Wall mounted, forced-air hand dryers.


To reduce the amount of paper towels used and do so with energy efficient appliances that dry hands without increasing exposure to bacterial growth.


Purchase and disposal of paper towel waste can be a cost burden on any facility. Minimizing or reducing the use of disposable paper towels can save money as well as increase facility cleanliness. The cost of drying with paper towels can be 20 times the cost of drying with air hand dryers per dry.


ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

ANSI: American National Standards Institute

dB: decibels (sound rating)

Conventional Electric Hand Dryers: use low speed, heated air to dry hands.

Standard Setting and Certifying Programs

National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization committed to public health, safety, and protection of the environment. NSF develops national standards, provides learning opportunities, and provides third-party conformity assessment services while representing the interests of all stakeholders. The primary stakeholder groups include industry, the regulatory community, and the public at large. For additional information on NSF, visit the organization website at http://www.nsf.org/.
GreenSpec® Product Guide lists over 2,200 environmentally preferable products selected by editors at BuildingGreen, LLC. The guide includes key insight on the green attributes of each product and the most critical green issues for each product category. Editors at BuildingGreen conduct their own independent research in assessing manufacturer claims, ensuring that the directory contains unbiased, quality information. GreenSpec does not charge for listings or sell ads.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.


Affected entities shall install Electric Hand Dryers meeting the following criteria:

  • Certification by Underwriters Laboratory, Inc., with UL labels.
  • Minimum 5-year limited warranty.
  • Adherence to ADA protrusion requirements.
  • One-piece, heavy duty, vandal and rust resistant cover.
  • Listing in the GreenSpec® Product Guide.
  • Complete Hands-Free operation including automatic optical sensor for on/off operation.
  • Ability to dry hands in 15 seconds or less with maximum 135-degree F air.
  • Internal HEPA air filtration.
  • Sound level of not more than 80dB.
  • Operation on a maximum 15-amp branch circuit.
  • If heated air is used, provide automatic thermostat-controlled wire element heater.
  • Energy consumption cannot exceed 1500 watts
  • Operation on a maximum 15-amp branch circuit

Affected entities are encouraged to:

  • Replace existing conventional electric hand dryers and paper towel dispensers with efficient Electric Hand Dryers (air at high volume).
  • Specify dryers that provide unheated air.
    • This reduces reproductive rate of bacteria and protects skin from possible removal of beneficial oils that can be stripped with warm air use. (Per NSF Protocol P335)
  • Determine if the unit(s) uses 75% less energy use than Conventional Electric Hand Dryers.
  • Comply with the installation requirements of ICC/ANSI A117.1.
  • Comply with manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  • Reduce the State’s carbon footprint by procuring local or regional products.
    • For projects registered with a LEED rating system, some contribution to achievement of credits may be realized in purchasing units that are manufactured within 500 miles of the project site.

Packaging shall comply with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205. Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium is intentionally added or contain incidental concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which together are greater than 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%).
New York State encourages affected entities to adopt the following in order of preference:

  • The use of reusable packaging.
  • The use of bulk packaging.
  • The use of innovative packaging that reduces the weight of packaging, reduces packaging waste, or utilizes packaging that is a component of the product.
  • That all packaging remain the property of the supplier and not become the property of the affected state entity under any circumstance or condition. The vendor shall certify that the packaging material will be reused, recycled, or composted, and managed in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws.
  • Packaging that maximizes recycled content and/or meets or exceeds the minimum post-consumer content level for packaging in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines.
  • Packaging that is recyclable or compostable where composting facilities are available.


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Updated Specification Passed: December 14, 2022