NEW YORK - The New York City (NYC) Department of Education and NYC School Construction Authority have announced the publication of Dattner Architects' NYC Green Schools Guide (GSG) and Rating System, which will guide the sustainable design, construction, and operation of new schools, modernization projects, and school renovations. The GSG and Rating System will assure compliance with Local Law 86, which established sustainability standards for public design and construction projects in New York City. The implementation of the GSG and Rating System makes NYC one of the first and largest school districts in the nation to have sustainability guidelines required by law.

The GSG and Rating System was developed and written by a team led by Dattner Architects with DVL Consulting Engineers, Ysrael A. Seinuk PC, Accu-Cost, Robert Schwartz and Associates, and Ostergaard Acoustical. Energy modeling was by Viridian Energy and Environmental.

Sustainable school design and operation, as outlined in the GSG and Rating System, will help to conserve energy and water, reduce operating costs, promote a healthy environment, and help teach environmental responsibility. Energy efficiency measures required by the GSG, including high-efficiency building envelopes and HVAC systems, will ensure that "green schools" are designed to save energy costs by at least 20 percent over other regulatory mandates. Water- conserving fixtures such as metered faucets, dual flush toilets, low-flush urinals, and low-flow showers are expected to result in the reduction of potable water usage in each school by more than 40 percent. New efficient classroom lighting fixtures will save energy and provide high-quality illumination. Stringent acoustical standards will ensure that instructional spaces are isolated from sound interference. The selection of building materials and the manner in which materials are removed from the construction site for proper disposal are based on environmental responsibility and benefit.

The GSG and Rating System is based on the LEED® Green Building Rating System developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The GSG and Rating System includes enhancements beyond LEED based on best practices for schools adopted from the Collaborative for High Performing Schools rating systems developed by the states of California, Washington, Massachusetts, and New York, and also on the NYC School Construction Authority’s best practices.

The director of the Office of Environmental Coordination, on behalf of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, determined that the GSG and Rating System is as stringent as LEED New Construction, version 2.2, for the achievement of a LEED certified rating (the minimum required by Local Law 86 for school projects).

The NYC Green Schools Guide is available at

Publication date:04/16/2007