Oculus - Spring 2011 - (Page 30)

feature What Every Architect Should Know About NYC’s New Energy Laws Stricter energy standards mean developing efficient and economical solutions – and bring new opportunities to design professionals BY CRA IG A . HA R G R O V E , A I A , L E E D A P ith the “Greener, Greater Buildings Plan,” New York City enacted what is arguably the most ambitious green retrofit initiative to date in a U.S. city. For buildings in New York’s five boroughs, the directive means more stringent energy standards, mandatory energy- and water-use audits, and required energy-efficiency retrofits. For architects, the new regulations are an opportunity for expanded services in the areas of benchmarking, energy-efficiency analysis, and sustainable design. New York City Energy Conservation Code Of all the states that base energy codes on the International Energy Conservation Code, only New York exempts minor renovations from compliance. New York City, where renovations are often a small percentage of building area, adopted its own energy code in 2009 to cover the repairs and alterations exempt from state law. When New York State updated its energy code in December 2010, the city was forced to keep pace. The result is Local Law 01 of 2011, which amends the New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) with tighter provisions. Key Points: All renovations to NYC buildings, regardless of scale, must comply with the NYCECC. Unaltered portions of the building and unconditioned spaces are not affected. Only those buildings listed on the State or National Registers of Historic Places, or those eligible for listing, are exempt. Designation by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission is no longer grounds for exemption. The new NYCECC applies to projects submitted to the Department of Buildings (DOB) for construction document approval on or after December 28, 2010. Applications filed July 1–December 27, 2010 may comply with the original version of the NYCECC; work approved before July is exempt. Implications: Be sure you are familiar with approved compliance pathways, formats, and energy modeling software. NYCECC construction document requirements now demand fluency with Rvalues, fenestration U-factors, solar heat gain coefficients (SHGCs), and economizers among compliance criteria. Field deviation from approved documents requires resubmission to the DOB, so contractor change requests may mean longer delays. Because progress and final inspections by a registered design professional are now required by law, include any additional services these duties require in owner-architect agreements. 30 Oculus Spring 2011 W Benchmarking To encourage owners to improve performance, the city will create a database to compare building performance. Key Points: Energy and water use data must be input into the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) database for: • non-municipally-owned buildings more than 50,000 square feet; or • two buildings on the same lot with combined square footage more than 100,000 square feet; or • condominiums owned by the same board with combined square footage more than 100,000 square feet; or • buildings more than 10,000 square feet for which the city pays all or part of the energy bills. As of May 1, 2010, benchmarking must be completed annually for municipal buildings. Privately owned buildings’ first benchmarking deadline is May 1, 2011. Thereafter, benchmarking must be completed before May 1 each year. Implications: Prospective buyers and tenants will have access to benchmarking data, so owners are motivated to keep poor performance from hurting property values. Architects are well positioned to conduct building assessments and direct clients toward appropriate upgrade strategies. Energy Audits and Retro-commissioning Energy standards for new buildings have become increasingly stringent. However, most of New York City is already built. To close the gap, the new legislation aims to improve existing building stock. Reporting consists of an energy audit identifying opportunities for improved efficiency in mechanical, electrical, and building envelope systems; and retro-commissioning encompassing operations, maintenance, repair, and documentation, which includes functional performance testing to detect deficiencies and low-performing systems. Auditing and retro-commissioning differ from benchmarking in that they evaluate energy performance of specific systems, whereas benchmarking records total energy consumed. Key Points: Buildings subject to benchmarking must also submit Energy Efficiency Reports. Design for a Change: Buildings, People, Energy http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/html/plan/buildings_plan.shtml http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/reference/nycecc_main.shtml

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Spring 2011

Oculus - Spring 2011
First Words
A Word from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: A Critique of Pure Sustainability
Testing Green Ideas
New Life for a Boomer Building
School Back in Session After 30-Year Recess
It Takes More Than a Village
Shedding Light
What Every Architect Should Know About NYC’s New Energy Laws
Good Practices
44-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Spring 2011