Ithaca Green Building Policy​ (DRAFT Project Report)

Casey Martin

As the City and Town of Ithaca seek public input for the Green Building Policy, a public information session has been scheduled for next week that will allow for feedback and education on the potential future of Ithaca’s sustainable construction.

The information session will be held Wednesday, March 28 at 5:30-7:30 p.m. at The Space @ GreenStar, located at 700 West Buffalo Street. All of the public is invited for the free event, which will include light refreshments. Mayor Svante Myrick, Town of Ithaca Supervisor Bill Goodman, Sustainability Coordinator Nick Goldsmith and other members of the consultant team will be presenting a summary of the policy and fielding questions from the community.

At its core, the policy would mandate that all new buildings be constructed to reduce Green House Gas emissions between 40-50 percent more than what New York State building code already requires. The goal of the policy would be to force all new buildings down to net-zero energy standard by 2030, meaning the amount of renewable energy created on the site equal the amount of energy consumption by the building’s use.

Two paths would be available to meet the policy’s requirements: the “whole building path” would recognize the use of legitimate third-party programs (such as LEED or Home Energy Rating System) ratings that could show the building’s required 40-50 percent GHG reduction. Additionally, builders could follow the “easy path,” which would require them to achieve six points from a list of over 20 criteria worth a variety of point amounts. The easy path, purportedly, can be achieved using only “affordability-driven energy efficiency measures,” which would theoretically prevent increasing construction costs to the point that offering affordable housing in “easy path” buildings is unfeasible economically.

The full second draft of the policy report: 



After being approved for circulation by the Planning and Economic Development Committee earlier this month, the final GBP report will be written and submitted to the PEDC again on April 11, as scheduled, for approval. From there, it will go to the city’s Common Council.

Potential attendees are encouraged to RSVP to Noah Demarest via email at

Source: Ithaca Times