Westchester County encourages everyone to take steps in protecting the environment as well as to consider integrating new technologies to enhance our way of life and reduce our carbon footprint. The Westchester County Climate Change Action Plan outlines ways in which we all can all participate in reducing our carbon footprint through energy efficiencies. Building environmentally-friendly structures will certainly contribute positively to this end. Structures designed to take into consideration the needs of an aging population or those with disabilities will also be welcome innovations. 

There are a number of incentive programs available at both the federal and state level that encourages use of green building materials and techniques. For more information, go to the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP).

What is Green Technology?
Green Technology refers to new environmentally sound methods for constructing, renovating and operating homes and buildings. Some of these new standards include:

  • Using natural products for exterior and interior building materials
  • Opening up buildings to use natural light
  • Using the latest energy efficiencies
  • Recycling water from rain and condensation for building needs
  • Creating “green” roofs through plantings and vegetation.

What is Smart Technology?
Smart Technology refers to innovations that can make a home or apartment a better place to live for all people including families, senior citizens or disabled people. Some of these new improvements can include:

  • Enhanced security systems for home and apartments
  • Wireless thermostats to control heating and air conditioning
  • Home design that includes accessibility elements such as an elevator, accessible porch and wheelchair friendly backyards
  • Use of building materials that are “green” or environmentally sound
  • Designing residences to minimize energy consumption and use natural resources such as sunlight or geothermal air to heat and air condition residences
  • Installation of the latest communication methods for seniors to call for emergency assistance  

Where can I get further information?
The section of this Web site on Global Warming has useful information and link about what is happening in Westcester County.

Are there any examples of green building projects in Westchester County?
Several new projects in the county incorporate the latest green technologies.

  • Ossining Library
  • The Gateway Center at Westchester Community College
  • Office of Walter Sedovich, Architect
  • 422 Division Street in Hastings

Are there any examples of smart technology developments in Westchester County?
Energy-efficient affordable homes can be constructed using such smart techniques as high efficiency boilers, photovoltaic panels and insulated concrete forms. Visit Smart Communities Network for more information. Another good source is Affordable Housing Design Advisor which provides a wide range of tips and guides for developers and housing professionals to assist with the planning and development process. 

American Society of Landscape Architects
  ASLA is a national, professional organization representing landscape architects. ASLA provides information, programs and resources on many topics including green technologies to its membership and the general public.
Digital Home Magazine
  Digital Home magazine offers readers the latest news on digital and wireless smart technologies such as smart thermostats, lighting control systems, green homes and home automation.
Duke University Smart Home Initiative
  The Duke Smart Home Program encompasses a 6,000 square foot residence and research laboratory that explores smart technologies for homes.
Enterprise Community Partners
  Enterprise helps build fair and affordable housing for low-income Americans by providing financing and expertise to community and housing developers. Enterprise Community Partners is a national nonprofit that provides loans, grants and information resources.
Green Communities Online
  Green Communities provides funds and expertise to enable developers to build and rehabilitate homes that are healthier, more energy efficient and better for the environment, without compromising affordability.
Green Buildings: Affordable Housing
  Provides guidance to design and implement green technologies within affordable housing developments.
New York State Energy Research Development Agency
  NYSERDA’s principal goal is to help all New York State utility customers with residential efficiency and affordability programs and energy efficiency services.
Smart HomeOwner Magazine
  Smart Homeowner Magazine provides the latest information on new smart technology home building techniques.  Subscribe to the magazine through their Web site.
U.S. Building Council
  USGBC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting buildings that are environ- mentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. Membership of USGBC is composed of leaders from every sector of the building industry.