Ah, The Hamptons: decadent and expensive and and materialistic and full of nightmarish reality show types screaming wine-breath ‘I’m not here to make friends’-type stuff at each other over sodden $40 lunches. And yet also… The Hamptons: beautiful and still comparatively unspoiled in parts and near enough to Amagansett’s “Lunch” restaurant and the great St. Peter’s Catch Fish Store and Channing Daughters winery and a bunch of other cool things that it’s hard not to like it. While neither Stephen nor I spends much time in the Hamptons (you’ve probably guessed that I’ve logged some off-season time in Montauk), we have spent some time on Southampton at gbNYC, thanks to some extraordinary green buildings and a solar-powered pool and a forward-thinking bit of legislation from last year that held all new construction residential buildings in Southampton to Energy Star standards. Which is pretty great for a bunch of reasons, and is made that much greater by the announcement that they’re now mandating the same standard for commercial buildings.
In the Southampton News, Jessica DiNapoli reports on the discussion leading up to the writing of the amendment back in early February, and finds things surprisingly civil, logical and forward-thinking. Yes, Energy Star standards will increase costs for builders; BUT, those costs will be paid back very quickly through energy savings; gavel; next case. Of course it can’t always be like that — certainly not in New York City, where raising costs for builders is routinely talked about like a human rights offense — but congratulations to the Sustainable Southampton Green Advisory Committee and the good people of this… pretty nice place for passing some very impressive legislation.