Sustainability Initiative


NYC Local Law 86/05 was enacted into law by the New York City Council in late 2005, establishing a demanding set of sustainable standards for public construction projects in New York City. This local law makes New York City one of the first and largest school districts in the nation to have sustainable school design, construction, and operations guidelines required by law. Sustainable school design and operation provide many benefits to students, school staff and the city as a whole. Our school proactively works with the Department of Education's Office of Sustainability, under the guidance of the Chancellor's Regulation A-850, to help reduce our school's carbon footprint.

The Bronx Design and Construction Academy is committed to be the following initiatives as a sustainable school:

  • Conserving the energy and water that we use
  • Reducing our facility's operating costs
  • Promoting a healthy environment for staff and students
  • Teaching the importance of environmental responsibility
  • Demonstrating our commitment to sustainability as a whole

NYCDOE Initiatives

New York City is the only school district in the nation that requires each school to designate a Sustainability Coordinator as mandated by DOE policy. This person, along with the Custodian Engineer, are the primary school-based contacts for the Office of Sustainability. Our goal is to develop programs and opportunities that support the work of the Sustainability Coordinators so they can be change-makers in their school, leading impactful sustainability projects and initiatives. This year, our Sustainability Coordinator has worked to revamp our annual Sustainability Plan to include diversified offerings to include the Arts, forge student engagement, and opportunities for our school to help students and staff deepen their sustainability.

Eco-School Mission

Two rows of solar panels outdoors 

In 2014, student alumni Ray Figueroa represented his ninth-grade Ecology class at the Zayed Future Energy Prize (ZFEP) ceremony where the Bronx Design and Construction Academy was awarded $100,000 for its planted roof - the first city-approved public green roof in New York City. The BDCA Green Science Club installed the green roof, where Figueroa had a chance to meet with His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, at the bejeweled Emirates Palace Hotel.

Led by our former science teacher Nathaniel Wight, BDCA students teamed up with Columbia University to determine whether it is feasible to combine energy-harvesting technology such as rooftop photovoltaic panels with a green roof planted with sedum and edibles. Their pioneering work and research has earned the humble vocational school one of the most prestigious green awards in the world.

The Bronx Design and Construction Academy is now actively working to carry out its tradition of environmental awareness by forging practices to help it become recognized as an Eco-School.

Wellness and Healthy Living

Girl drinking water 

The New York City Department of Education's School Wellness Council is a group of parents, students, school staff, and community members who work together and with the school administration to promote a healthy school community. The DOE Wellness Policy encourages all schools to have a School Wellness Council. Upon the erection of our School Wellness Council, there will be meetings at our school to help students with:

  • Ensuring our school provides high-quality physical and health education
  • Ensuring our school is following the DOE Wellness Policy
  • Encouraging our students to eat healthier snack options
  • Planting a school garden and/or working with a local community garden
  • Promoting physical activity clubs and organizing fitness events events
  • Promoting the importance of healthy food
  • Promoting inclusivity and diversity in general

If you have some ideas that you would like to share on how to help your school become more healthy, please let, Ms. Pierre-Louis, the Sustainability Coordinator know.

Green Team

Green Team - Staff
A Green Team is typically a special group or club of students and adults that is dedicated to improving sustainability through projects, awareness, and actions. Green Teams are an excellent way to empower student leadership and lead whole-school change with the student's voice. Students can take on the challenges of planning, organizing, and implementing campaigns, events, competitions or more!

Our Green Team is led by the Sustainability Coordinator. Future meetings will typically occur during lunch, after school, or during an advisory period.

As part of our school’s annual Sustainability Plan, we are proud to be building a Green Team. The purpose of the Green Team is to forge a group of dedicated school leaders and students who are committed to promoting and implementing the school’s sustainability plan (submitted annually to NYC’s DOE). Our Green Team will be an essential part of any school’s efforts to ensure that recycling as it becomes ingrained into our school’s culture. While outreach to the general student population will be ongoing, having a green team will provide a forum for interested students to implement recycling-related and community projects to provide our students with hands-on environmental learning and opportunities to foster creativity as we strive to achieve our environmental goals.

Green Team - Students
The Student Green Team also serves as our School Sustainability Council (SSC). It is a group of school stakeholders who meet on an ongoing basis to advance their school’s culture of sustainability, set goals and implement school-wide projects to improve recycling, reduce waste, energy and water usage. This group of student leaders is committed to sustainability serves to help engage other students in the building and broadens the impact of the school's sustainability goals led by the Sustainability Coordinator.