On the heels of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement on Tuesday that he would devote his efforts and resources to shuttering every remaining coal plant in the U.S. by 2030, New York State revealed on Wednesday its “Buildings of Excellence” initiative to advance the design, construction, and operation of low- or zero-carbon emitting buildings on the way to a fossil fuel-free future.

The competition, which will include three rounds over the course of three years, each providing up to $10 million for projects featuring innovative, energy efficiency solutions, is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's goal to transform New York's entire building stock as part of his Green New Deal, and will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The first round is focused on multi-family buildings, which make up 40 percent of the 100 million square feet of new construction in the state each year. Applications are being accepted through June 4, 2019. Awards to eligible developers are expected by late summer 2019.

Eligible projects that will be awarded must be in one of the following four phases:

  • Early Design - Projects in the schematic design or design development phase; eligible for an award of up to $1,000,000.
  • Late Design - Design development is complete, and the construction documents are being developed, but the building permit has not yet been issued; eligible for an award of up to $750,000.
  • Under Construction - If the building permit has been issued, but the first Certificate of Occupancy, whether temporary or permanent, has not been issued; eligible for an award of up to $500,000.
  • Post-Completion Performance Optimization - Projects must show how additional proposed enhancements and/or optimizations demonstrate replicability and improve the living environment; eligible for an award of up to $250,000.

Speaking at a press conference in New York City, NYSERDA president and CEO Alicia Barton said, “Launching the Buildings of Excellence competition is setting a new bar for buildings throughout the state, and providing the support needed to recognize and advance solutions that will help building owners achieve a low-carbon or net-zero status that delivers environmental and health benefits, reduces energy costs, and provides safe, comfortable spaces for all residents and users.”