NYC’s Green New Deal? Diving into the Climate Mobilization Act with Marc Zuluaga

Considered one of the most ambitious and innovative legislative initiatives of any major U.S. city, New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act has significant implications for property owners. The most significant bill in the package, Introduction 1253, will hold owners accountable for their buildings’ energy performance by mandating buildings over 25,000 SF to reduce their emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, with incremental targets along the timeline.

In this episode, Kelly sits down with SWA’s CEO, Marc Zuluaga to learn more about what is being referred to as NYC’s Green New Deal – and what it means for NYC’s real estate market. Marc breaks down the details of the bill and shares some advice for building owners and managers.

Episode Guest: Marc Zuluaga

Marc Zuluaga HeadshotMarc Zuluaga has directed energy audits on over 20 million square feet of existing buildings and leads a team committed to applying a rigorous technical approach to the evaluation and implementation of a wide range of building upgrades. Most notably, Marc has worked since 2005 to pioneer a retrofit approach to central exhaust ventilation systems in multifamily buildings, working openly and collaboratively with practitioners across the country. More recently, in research sponsored by the Urban Green Council, Marc acted as the team leader on a project to quantify the winter heat loss due to air leakage around window and sleeve air conditioners in NYC. The study, titled “There Are Holes in Our Walls,” found that these gaps collectively represent a hole the size of a Manhattan block, resulting in an annual operating cost penalty of $130 – $180 million dollars. Marc has also provided technical input to inform various policy initiatives; in 2010, he served on the NYC Green Codes Task Force that was convened by the Mayor’s Office to recommend green changes to the laws and regulations affecting buildings in New York.


Episode Information and Resources

Blog: What Does NYC’s Climate Mobilization Act Mean for Building Owners?

Article: NYC Council Press Release

Article: Curbed Magazine

Article: New York Times

Website: (how Smart Buildings can lead to compliance)

Website: The Retrofit Depot (deep retrofit tools and resources)

Report: Upgrading NYC Steam Systems for the 21st Century

Report: There Are Holes in Our Walls

About Buildings and Beyond

Buildings and Beyond is a production of Steven Winter Associates. We provide energy, green building, and accessibility consulting services to improve the built environment. For more information, visit


Robb Aldrich | Kelly Westby

Production Team

Heather Breslin | Alex Mirabile | Dylan Martello

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