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NYC Map Shows Progress on Emissions


By Dan Hounsell Energy Efficiency
Aerial view of Manhattan/NYC skyline

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, as every maintenance and engineering manager has heard a thousand times. Taking that guidance one step further, you can’t improve what you can’t envision. Toward that end, New York University (NYU) has created a resource that generates a picture of energy efficiency in city buildings and helps track progress in curtailing greenhouse gas emissions by these facilities.

An NYU team and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability consolidated six years of data to make the interactive map, which color codes buildings based on energy efficiency, according to the Washington Square News. NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management and the NYU Urban Intelligence Lab, led by a professor at the institute with the goal of using data to address city problems, created the tool.

When users visit the site, they are allowed to enter any address within the city and see a 3D model of the building and area, with each building color-coded based on how energy efficient it is. Last spring, the city passed the Climate Mobilization Act, which set emissions caps for buildings larger than 25,000 square feet, requiring them to try and reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. The new interactive map was created in part to better track how well the city and individual buildings are meeting that goal.

The tool provides additional information, like the building’s Energy Star rating — part of a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which rates how energy efficient a building is. It also provides a time series of energy usage from 2011-2017, a breakdown of the types of energy are used, comparisons to similar buildings and the option to download data directly to a computer.

Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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