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Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Greenest Borough

New Yorkers are notoriously chauvinistic about their home boroughs, which is why they’re forever saying things like, “Queens is the new Brooklyn.” Or, “The Lower East Side is the new Williamsburg.” Or, “Staten Island is still Staten Island.” Since New Yorkers are also increasingly concerned with climate change and energy efficiency, a question was inevitable: which of the five boroughs is greenest?

The nonprofit Urban Green Council has compiled a pair of measurements that leave no doubt. The greenest borough is Brooklyn, followed by Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx, with last place going to – you guessed it – Manhattan.

The first measurement is called Energy Use Intensity, or EUI, which gauges how much energy is needed to heat, cool, and power a multi-family dwelling. The lower the number, the better. Every building’s score is affected by such factors as insulation, boiler efficiency, and LED lighting fixtures. The second measurement is the Energy Star Rating, which provides energy-usage rankings of comparable multi-family dwellings across the country. The scores range from 1 to 100 – the higher, the better – to gauge how buildings rank against their peers.

And, as the chart shows, the EUI and Energy Star winner of bragging rights is Brooklyn.


Borough                                                                                                                                                                 EUI                                                                               Energy Star

Brooklyn 115.1    68
Queens             123.1    64
Staten Island    125.3  60
Bronx             127.2    55
Manhattan        129.7    55


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