Exterior view of Five Rivers Education Center

Sustainable Buildings and Infrastructure

OGS is committed to delivering the State’s ambitious goals for sustainable and climate resilient State facilities.
Sustainable Buildings and Infrastructure

Direct emissions from buildings today account for roughly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, driven predominantly by fossil fuel-based space and hot water heating. When adding the emissions attributable to generating the electricity used in buildings, that figure rises to over 40%. As a result, decarbonizing state buildings is essential to meet the State’s mandate to reduce our economywide greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050. (NYSERDA, Carbon Neutral Buildings Roadmap).

Sources of GHG emissions in New York State.

In addition to operational carbon, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with construction materials purchased by New York State are also significant. The emissions associated with the lifecycle of construction materials, from extraction, transport, manufacturing, installation and disposal is known as “embodied carbon”, and represents about 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing our embodied carbon now will allow us to avoid emitting further greenhouse gases into our atmosphere today, thereby helping to reduce our climate impact.

New York State is actively working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from state buildings and construction through energy efficiency retrofits, sustainable new construction, and alternative energy sources.

Some examples of existing best practices standards in terms of sustainable design and construction that are relevant for NYS projects include: LEED, ENVISION and the WELL Building Standard, among others.