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NYC's Local Law 91: Conforms to NYS Energy Conservation Code and uniqueness in NYC's Construction


October 13, 2016

In August of 2016, the New York City Council approved Local Law 91. The purpose of this local law is to conform the New York City Energy Conservation Code to recent changes in the New York State Energy Code with the law amendments unique to construction in the City. The amendment, Int. No. 1169A, were drafted by committee chaired Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to conforming the New York City energy conservation code to the New York State energy code with amendments unique to construction in the city and repealing section 28-1001.2 in relation thereto We can expect greater calls for stronger standards and reporting requirements in the months and years ahead. All required for New York City to catch up with global applications. New York City was ranked the 20th of the leading sustainable cities globally, and third behind Boston and Chicago in the United States according to the 2015 Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index. Statement of findings and purpose. The New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code (the “New York State Energy Code”) is promulgated by the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council pursuant to Article 11 of the New York State Energy Law. In accordance with Article 11, the New York City Energy Conservation Code is stricter than the New York State Energy Code. The purpose of this local law is to conform the New York City Energy Conservation Code to recent changes in the New York State Energy Code with local law amendments unique to construction in the City. INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT: The New York City Energy Conservation Code (“NYCECC”) is comprised of the New York State Energy Code (“NYSEC”) with amendments as enacted into law by the New York City Council. The NYCECC is divided into provisions relevant to commercial buildings and provisions relevant to residential buildings as follows: 1. The provisions of the NYCECC for commercial buildings are reflected in the state publications incorporated by reference in 19 NYCRR section 1240.4, as amended by sections 28-1001.2.1and 28-1001.2.2 of the Administrative Code of the city of New York. Such state publications include (i) Chapters 1 [CE], 2 [CE], 3 [CE], 4 [CE], 5 [CE] and 6 [CE] of the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (the “2015 IECC”), as amended by Part 1 of the publication entitled the 2016 Supplement to the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code (the “2016 Energy Code Supplement”) (ii) the July 2014 edition of Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (“ASHRAE 90.1-2013”), as amended by Part 2 of the 2016 Energy Code Supplement; and (iii) reference standards incorporated by reference in 19 NYCRR section 1240.4(c). 2. The provisions of the NYCECC for residential buildings are reflected in the state publications incorporated by reference in 19 NYCRR section 1240.5, as amended by sections 28-1001.2.1 and 28-1001.2.2 of the Administrative Code of the city of New York. Such state publications include (i) Chapters 1 [RE], 2 [RE], 3 [RE], 4 [RE], 5 [RE] and 6 [RE] of the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (the “2015 IECC”), as amended by Part 3 of the publication entitled the 2016 Supplement to the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code (the “2016 Energy Code Supplement”); and (ii) the referenced standards incorporated by reference in 19 NYCRR section 1240.5(b), as amended by Part 3 of the 2016 Energy Code Supplement. New York City’s Climate Targets: A Roadmap for New York City’s Buildings, the One City Built to Last Plan outlined a pathway to 80 by 50, we will need to reduce GHG emissions from the energy used to heat, cool, and power our buildings by 30 percent from 2005 levels over the next decade. City government can lead the way, and will commit to achieving a 35 percent reduction in emissions in the next ten years. Background: The One City Built to Last plan set out to achieve these goals by 2025

  • Complete efficiency improvements in every City-owned building that has significant energy use and install 100 MW of onsite renewable power.

  • Implement leading edge performance standards for new construction that cost- effectively achieve highly efficient buildings, looking to Passive House, carbon neutral, or “zero net energy” strategies to inform the standards.

  • Develop interim energy performance targets for existing buildings to be met through both voluntary reductions and new regulations, such as performance standards and measure-based mandates, which would be triggered if adequate reductions are not achieved.

The plan is deployed under One City, Built to Last, a long-term scheme to improve the energy efficiency of NYC buildings and to adapt to more renewable energy sources. Buildings contribute to three-quarters of the total emissions in the city every year.

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