The Town of Babylon is located on Long Island, New York, with a population of approximately 211,792 people. The Town has a population density of 4,050 people per square mile, and a per capita income of $22,844. Babylon has a total area of 114.2 square miles, and about 54% of the Town’s total area is water. Babylon is home to beaches and several state parks.
The Town of Babylon was the first town on Long Island to adopt Energy Star standards for new homes, but the Town of Babylon did not stop there. Under its Green Building Certification law, the Town formally adopts the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design New-Construction (LEED-NC) rating system, Version 2.2, and automatically adopts any future versions. Babylon’s law requires all new construction of commercial, office, industrial, and multi-family residential buildings equal to or greater than 4,000 square feet to attain certification under the LEED green building rating system for New Construction & Major Renovations (LEED-NC) or a “local variant.” Under this requirement, applicants must submit a completed LEED-NC checklist (or the local variant of a green building project checklist) as part of their building permit application. A building permit will then be issued if the Building Inspector finds that the submitted documentation demonstrates that the proposed project will attain certification. The Building Inspector is also charged with determining whether the requirements under the applicant’s pre-permitting documentation have been met at each stage of construction and prior to issuance of a final Certificate of Occupancy. The Town has an unwritten policy of issuing a temporary Certificate of Occupancy until proof of full certification is achieved.
In addition to these requirements, Babylon also provides incentives for the completion of a LEED certified building. For all projects falling under this regulation, the applicant must pay a fee of $0.03 per square foot of the project (not to exceed $15,000) to the Town’s Green Building Fund; buildings that are constructed and successfully meet LEED requirements do not have to pay this fee. Upon completion and successful LEED certification, the fee is returned to the builder. However, in the event that the project does not gain LEED certification the Town of Babylon retains this fee to further environmentally-friendly development. The Town’s fund allows for continued improvement in community sustainable development and, more importantly, has influenced surrounding local municipalities such as Islip, Long Island.