Green Manual

fort greene rowhouses copyright cook + fox

Photo: Cook + Fox Architects

Greening NYC’s Historic Buildings Manual

MAS has partnered with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)  to create a manual to help home owners improve the energy efficiency of historic rowhouses without impacting their character. Greening New York City’s Historic Buildings: Green Rowhouse Manual, is available for download for free on the MAS and the LPC websites.

Today more than 50% of New York City’s building stock is comprised of small buildings constructed before 1940 (about 580,000 structures). It has been estimated that the construction and operation of buildings account for about 75% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the City has developed a series of new regulations as part of the PlaNYC’s Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency efforts, which require that the city’s largest buildings– those over 50,000 square feet– adopt a series of measures to improve and monitor their energy efficiency.

The Green Rowhouse Manual is a step toward making the other half of the city’s building stock–small historic buildings under 50,000 square feet– more energy efficient, thereby helping to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The manual is organized into eleven sections that identify low to high cost greening opportunities. By implementing the opportunities outlined in each section, property owners can improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of the city’s landmark buildings while meeting preservation standards. Property owner can implement these opportunities individually or as part of a more extensive retrofit project.

The sections include:

  • Walls & Roofs
  • Windows & Doors
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Lighting & Electrical Wiring
  • Plumbing & Water Efficiency
  • Appliances & Plug Loads
  • Indoor Health, Housekeeping & Materials
  • Sustainable Site & Outdoor Amenities
  • Fuel Efficiency & Renewable Energy
  • Rating System (i.e. Energy Star, LEED, etc.)
  • Incentives & Programs

The Green Rowhouse Manual was researched and developed by Terrapin Bright Green and COOKFOX Architects, and debuted at the MAS Summit for New York City in October 2012.


Green Rowhouse Manual

The manual is part of MAS’s ongoing Preservation and Climate Change Campaign, which focuses on integrating preservation into New York City’s climate change, green building, and sustainability agendas. The manual was made possible with the generous support of the New York Community Trust, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund, and the Witkoff Group.

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Tara Kelly
Director, Preservation and Design

Connect with MAS

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