Nosy Neighbor: Why Are Construction Fences Always Green?

Why are all the fences around construction sites painted green? Why can’t they be different colors? —O.

Because the government said so, that’s why. From a rep at the Department of Buildings: “Local Law 47 of 2013 [PDF] passed by the New York City Council helped standardize signs and temporary protection equipment at construction sites in NYC—and includes the rule that fences and sidewalk sheds in NYC that were put up on or after July 1, 2013, ‘shall be painted the color of hunter green.'” The rep didn’t know why green was the chosen color, because the law pre-dates this administration, and I could find any reasoning online.

Among other things, Local Law 47 of 2013 also insisted that construction sites post contact info and renderings (but no other signage), and that they include peepholes so us nosy neighbors can see what’s going on behind the plywood.

UPDATE: Every time I write that I can’t find an answer, I think of it as a little gift I offer up to James. “Why green?” he commented. “From the ‘City Council City of New York, transcript of the minutes of the Committee on Housing and Buildings, April 30, 2013”

Commissioner Limandri: Well, currently today I do think that what we’re looking for is consistency. There have been conversations that blue is an interesting choice and so is green. What we are looking for is a color that is you know what maybe psychologists think are soothing colors. And so we chose green.

Council member Comrie: Okay.

Chairperson Dilan: That’s better than hearing that somebody owns a lot of stock in hunter green paint. […]

Richard Anderson: Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. I am Richard T. Anderson, President of New York Building Congress. Mr. Chairman, I mean this is good legislation. It makes a great deal of sense and my testimony will go at Council member Lander’s question directly how we in the industry intend to respond to this legislation. The Building Congress is pleased to support this bill which would require construction fences to display a detailed construction information panel. As we heard a single work permit and use of the uniform green color on all fences and sidewalk sheds and I can tell you that in London that’s exactly what they do. It’s a deep forest green and if you look at construction sites in London you will find they are uniformly attractive and this is one feature, one reason why.

Got a question? Email tribecacitizen@gmail.com.

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What’s this Citi Bike pole?
Is there a Moore Street?
What are those holes in 1 World Trade Center?
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When did the signage on 49 Chambers change?
Why are Tribeca’s street numbers messed up?
What are those two distinct white bands on 1 World Trade Center’s antenna?
Why are there hay bales at construction sites?
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4 Comments

  1. Why green?

    From the “CITY COUNCIL CITY OF NEW YORK, TRANSCRIPT OF THE MINUTES of the COMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND BUILDINGS, April 30, 2013”

    COMMISSIONER LIMANDRI: Well, currently today I do think that what we’re looking for is consistency. There have been conversations that blue is an interesting choice and so is green. What we are looking for is a color that is you know what maybe psychologists think are soothing colors. And so we chose green.

    COUNCIL MEMBER COMRIE: Okay.

    CHAIRPERSON DILAN: That’s better than hearing that somebody owns a lot of stock in hunter green paint.

    […]

    RICHARD ANDERSON: Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. I am Richard T. Anderson, President of New York Building Congress. Mr. Chairman, I mean this is good legislation. It makes a great deal of sense and my testimony will go at Council member Lander’s question directly how we in the industry intend to respond to this legislation. The Building Congress is pleased to support this bill which would require construction fences to display a detailed construction information panel. As we heard a single work permit and use of the uniform green color on all fences and sidewalk sheds and I can tell you that in London that’s exactly what they do. It’s a deep forest green and if you look at construction sites in London you will find they are uniformly attractive and this is one feature, one reason why.

  2. Thanks James!

    It is interesting how laws limit creativity. Hunter green is so “1980’s country club”, and frankly, so NOT NYC. I mean, “Gotham green” (like the spire on 1 WTC) maybe.

    Rather than specify a color, why not specify height and that construction fences be “uniform” to themselves? The city, and developers, are doing themselves a disservice to look at construction fences as “necessary and temporary” structures, rather than having a semi-permanent lifespan to a neighborhood. Construction fences COULD be educational, inspirational and many other things. There is so much canvas there to work with.

    Hunter green does [nicely] compliment the safety orange steam stacks and traffic cones, I suppose. I guess it would take a savvy non-risk-adverse developer to put in something different to show the un-realized potential of the humble construction fence and since we all like to get our permits, I guess it just won’t happen.

  3. The soothing nature of the color green is why the interiors of many ships are painted an institutional shade of seafoam green. It’s supposed to be calming and help prevent seasickness. Most Coast Guardsmen I know refer to it as “puke green” so maybe it doesn’t work that well.

  4. POST NO KILLS (switch to red)

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