First LEED Gold Existing Building in NY Achieves Another Milestone
N.Y. Power Authority's White Plains Office One of the Most Environmentally Sustainable Buildings in New York Under Governor Cuomo's Build Smart NY

Maura Balaban
(914) 390-8171

April 22, 2013


Photo and Caption

WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA), in recognition of Earth Week, today announced that its 17-story administrative office building here has been recertified as a LEED® Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), reaffirming its environmental sustainability and status as a “green” building under the council’s Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance (EB:OM) rating system.  It is the first LEED project in Westchester County to be recertified for this environmental honor; the fourth in New York State, and one of only 26 LEED projects in the country that have gone through the renewal process for maintaining LEED credentials.

The recertification confirms that the Clarence D. Rappleyea Building, at 123 Main Street, in White Plains, continues to meet the rigorous LEED performance standards for five key areas: sustainable site development, energy efficiency, water savings, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. While the building underwent modifications to meet the USGBC’s sustainability standards for the original 2006 certification, the recent recertification is a reflection of additional measures that NYPA has undertaken to meet even more arduous performance standards that the USGBC has put forth.

The White Plains building’s recertification is in line with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s “Build Smart NY,” initiative, which strives to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years by strategically accelerating priority improvements in energy performance.  The statewide initiative will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The enhanced sustainability measures at our White Plains office building reflect the priority that we’re giving to protecting the environment and limiting use of electricity and other resources, whether it’s our power plants, visitors centers or administrative offices,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “The efforts in White Plains, first and foremost, make the building a better, healthier place to work for NYPA employees and our employer tenants. They are also in keeping with Governor Cuomo’s focus on improving energy efficiency at state buildings to conserve the Earth’s resources and reduce harmful carbon emissions.”

“As a leader in promoting energy efficiency, the New York Power Authority’s commitment to our rigorous green building standards is inspiring and bodes well for the future of New York’s environmental movement,” said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president, CEO and founding chair.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo for reinforcing the value of improved energy efficiency with his Build Smart NY program. The initiative mirrors, on a state and local level, what the U.S. Green Building Council is attempting to do nationally in transforming the building landscape toward a sustainable environment.”

When it was initially certified in late 2006, the NYPA White Plains office building was the first existing building in New York State to achieve LEED Gold and among only 18 new or existing buildings in the country with this rating. Today, there are 5,914 LEED Gold buildings nationwide and 321 such buildings in New York State.

To achieve the LEED-GOLD EB:OM  Recertification, the Power Authority undertook  improvements that included:

·       Installation of new air filters to enhance indoor environmental quality. Expanded use of non-hazardous paints with low-volatile organic compounds, green cleaning products and recycled carpeting.

·       Expanded recycling of paper, bottles and cans.

·       Reducing annual water use by 130,000 gallons through such measures as installation of a landscaping control system, low-flush toilets and reduced-flow bathroom faucets.

·       Providing designated parking in the garage for employees and tenants driving in car pools or using hybrid-electric vehicles.

·        Purchasing renewable energy credits for 30 percent of the building’s energy use.

NYPA has been designated by Governor Cuomo to carry out his Build Smart NY plan, and is committed to spearheading $450 million in energy-efficiency initiatives at state facilities over the next several years and   another $350 million in improvements benefiting county and local governments.

Build Smart NY will utilize state building energy data to prioritize projects that will deliver the greatest energy savings per dollar spent. The largest and most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and undergo comprehensive whole-building improvements.

The program will also ensure that cost-effective improvements for energy savings are considered in all the state’s capital project planning.

A Build Smart NY web platform was launched that posts progress reports, case studies, energy savings, project costs, and other information to the public, providing greater accountability and transparency on government spending and performance. For more information on this initiative, visit or follow @NYPAenergy on Twitter.

About NYPA:

The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA has been designated as the lead entity via Executive Order 88 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to form a central management and implementation plan to carry out his Build Smart NY plan to reduce energy use by state facilities by 20 percent by 2020. ■ NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities in various parts of New York State, participation in a unique public/private partnership to contract for power from a clean generating plant in Queens, and its operation of more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■ For more information visit or follow @NYPAenergy on Twitter.

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