Zone Green Amendment

Members of the New York City Council have unanimously approved the Zone Green Amendment, a package of zoning changes designed to encourage new green construction and make it easier for property owners to undertake energy efficiency upgrades.

As a result of the new zoning resolution, accessory mechanical equipment like boilers can now be relocated to building rooftops, promoting the use of higher-efficiency boilers across New York City.

“The Zone Green amendment will allow us to further maximize the efficiency of what is already one of the most substantial energy conservation measures a property manager or owner can pursue,” says Jason Schwartz, chief operating officer of Platinum Energy Group. “As rooftop boilers become more popular as an option, we absolutely have the capabilities to deliver.”

Boiler rooms have traditionally been located in the basements of buildings because that was where the coal was delivered. Coal deliveries are no longer common, so it makes more economic sense to install natural gas-fired boiler rooms on the roof.

According to the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, a boiler room located on the roof of a building facilitates ventilation and combustion air supply, which is important for the boiler to be both energy efficient and safe. In doing so, you don’t need to build a costly fireproofed chimney through the building, which takes up the equivalent space of a large closet on every floor and reduces its efficiency.

“All the credit goes to the Department of City Planning,” adds Jason Schwartz. “The existing zoning regulations were preventing the sustainability initiatives everyone agrees are necessary. Zone Green should give owners more freedom to maximize their building’s performance while saving money.”