Carbon Overlay Zoning

Cycle’s Carbon Overlay Zoning project points the way towards a development framework for super high performance, net-zero carbon buildings.  By linking development rights to building performance, zoning can drive green building development to the benefit of cities and citizens everywhere.  Carbon Overlay Zoning has a low cost of implementation and rewards innovative approaches in a world where business as usual will have unsatisfactory results.

The benefits would be many, including the development of better buildings, increasing the tax base without increasing tax rates, lowering barriers to energy efficient building, and increasing the demand for green technologies and know-how.

Elements of the project include:
- research into buidling energy codes and laws
- zoning analysis of a transect of Manhattan (we took a slice – river to river along a street in midtown)
- proposing terminology and formulae for calculating EUI factors
- assessment of initial EUI factors correlated to zoning
- preparation of charts and graphics that illustrate the application of EUI to the sample transect
- analysis of hypothetical development scenarios and case studies using EUI factors

Linked below is our first draft whitepaper on the Carbon Overlay as applied to New York City.  The work is licensed under a Creative Commons ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  It is important to note that the draft is incomplete, in that endnotes and citations need to be compiled, and concepts are not worked out in full.  We will update the work as the analysis is more fully developed.

Carbon Overlay Zoning (Secure PDF)

Please feel free to contact us with questions, comments, suggestions, or dialog about the concept.