Plan for Greener Buildings Includes New Regulations
Codes Updates in Effect
On the heels of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de Blasio
announced a plan to vastly improve the en-
ergy efficiency of New York City’s buildings.
Noting the fact that 75% of the city’s
carbon emissions come from its one million
buildings, the plan aims to make reductions
to the energy consumption of New York
properties to help the city reach its goal of an
80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.
The One City: Built to Last plan aims to
build on the successes already achieved in
NYC, including a 19% reduction in citywide
emissions from 2005 levels.
Benchmarking has also seen recent vic-
tories, having already measured 2.1 billion
square feet of floor space since 2010.
Also included in the challenge is the NYC
Clean Heat program, with a goal of provid-
ing technical assistance to help increase
the rate of fuel oil conversions.
The program first seeks to make major
changes to city-owned building operations and maintenance and outlines
three key steps that will be taken to help
privately owned buildings reach the goal
of 80% by 2050:
ALBANY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT INSTALLS EV CHARGERS
As part of the Charge NY initiative to increase the use of plug-in electric vehicles, incentivize investments in renewable sources of
energy, and cut greenhouse gas emissions, the New York Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development authority
have installed six new EV charging stations at the Albany International
The new installations are the first in a series of 100 that are planned at
37 public and workplace locations. Charging times will be dependent on
vehicle type, but mid-sized cars are expected to take around four hours
to reach full charge. For the first two years after installation, airport
travelers will be able to plug in their vehicles at no cost, after which
there will be a nominal charging fee.
The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan
currently requires buildings over 50,000
square feet to benchmark their energy
use annually and perform a detailed assessment of systems and equipment
every 10 years using the ENERGY STAR
Portfolio Manager tool. The program will
be expanded to include all buildings over
25,000 square feet, with the city providing
increased access to benchmarking tools,
including regular updates to the Green
Buildings and Energy Efficiency website at
2) Energy Assessments and
The periodic energy assessments and
retrocommissioning of building systems
that are currently required of large buildings by Local Law 87 will also soon apply
to those over 25,000 square feet.
Included in the periodic energy as-
sessments is a roadmap for improving
energy efficiency through recommended
conservation measures, including informa-
tion about costs, possible savings, and
return on investment. Due to the less
complex systems and equipment used
in mid-sized buildings, the scope of the
new energy assessment and retrocom-
missioning requirements will be signifi-
cantly scaled back and will operate at
a lower level of specificity than current
3) Lighting and Submetering
With lighting costs accounting for
nearly 25% of the energy used in the
city’s buildings, Local Law 88 will be
expanded to include all nonresidential
buildings over 25,000 square feet.
This will require building owners to
upgrade their lighting to current code
requirements and install sub-meters
in non-residential tenant space.
The proposal also highlights multiple incentive and rebate programs
available through both local utilities
and the New York State Energy
Research and Development Authority.
Building regulations on your mind? They should be – NYC recently up-
dated its fire and new construction codes.
The revised Fire Code comprehensively
amends the emergency preparedness
requirements for buildings and occupan-
cies. It includes significant changes in
provisions relating to fire apparatus access
roads and building frontage spaces, roof-
top access and obstructions, rooftop solar
panel installations, fire watch and notifica-
tion requirements for out-of-service build-
ing fire protection systems, building and
apartment identification standards, and
use of medical oxygen, portable electric
space heaters, and halogen lamps.
Buildings managers can also refer-
ence an online tool called Code Notes to
navigate the city’s Building Code, Zoning
Resolution, and permit approval process.
Code Notes will serve as a step-by-step
guide for design professionals by outlining
the applicable codes, zoning, and approv-
als necessary to obtain a permit.
This reference tool will also empower
property owners and small businesses
owners in their interactions with industry professionals. It centralizes complex
information that is typically spread out
across the city’s Building Code, Zoning
Resolution, Fire Code, Multiple Dwelling
Law, Energy Conservation Code, and other
provisions into a more accessible format.