New York City - Green Building Requirements for Municipal Buildings

July 26, 2023

Summary

In 2005 New York City passed a law (Local Law No. 86) making a variety of green building and energy efficiency requirements for municipal buildings and other projects funded with money from the city treasury. The building requirements (described in detail below) apply to new construction, building additions, and substantial reconstructions of existing buildings. Substantial reconstruction is defined as a capital project that involves construction work affecting at least 50% of the floor area or that involves rehabilitation work in at least two of the three major building systems (HVAC, electrical, plumbing). The construction cost values below are adjusted annually for inflation. Program regulations were adopted in 2007 and then amended slightly in 2009 to reference updated green building rating standards. In June 2011 the Mayor issued Executive Order No.149 allowing the Mayor's Office of Environmental Coordination (MOEC) to evaluate developments affecting the green buildings industry and based on these developments, promulgate rules that increase the stringency of the current standards or expand the types of capital projects subject to the standards.

A series of additional laws enacted in 2009 make further requirements for publicly- and privately-owned existing buildings.

General Specifications

  • All new municipal construction or major reconstruction projects with an estimated capital cost of more than $2 million, except schools and hospitals, must meet LEED Silver certification standards.
  • Non-municipal projects meeting the above criteria and receiving at least 50% of project costs or $10 million from the city treasury must also meet LEED Silver certification standards
  • Projects with an estimated construction cost of $12 million - $30 million, schools excluded, must achieve an energy cost reduction of 20% above LEED Credit EA1 or the New York State Energy Construction Code (ECCCNYS), whichever is more stringent; and achieve an additional 5% energy cost reduction if the payback period is less than 7 years.
  • Projects with an estimated construction cost of more than $30 million, schools excluded, must achieve an energy cost reduction of 25% above LEED Credit EA1 or ECCCNYS, whichever is more stringent; and achieve a further energy cost reduction of 5% if the payback period is less than 7 years.

Project Specific Requirements: These apply in cases where the general requirements are not triggered.

  • Capital projects involving the installation or replacement of a boiler with an estimated construction cost of $2 million or more, or lighting with an estimated cost of $1 million or more, must be designed and constructed to reduce energy use by at least 10% above LEED Credit EA1 or the ECCCNYS, whichever is more stringent.
  • Each capital project, other than those covered by the preceding clause, that involves the installation or replacement of HVAC comfort controls with an estimated cost of $2 million or more must be designed and installed to reduce energy costs by 5% above LEED Credit EA1 or ECCCNYS, whichever is more stringent.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Local
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: New York
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Web Site: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oec/html/green/green.shtml
Administrator:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Daylighting
  • Lighting
  • Chillers
  • Boilers
  • Energy Mgmt. Systems/Building Controls
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
  • Other EE
  • Wind (Small)
  • Hydroelectric (Small)
Green Building Requirement: The City of New York requires certain buildings to meet LEED Certification standards.

Authorities

Name: Local Law No. 86 (2005)
Date Enacted: 10/03/2005
Effective Date: 01/01/2007
Name: Local Law No. 84 (2009)
Name: Local Law No. 31 (2016)
Name: Local Law No. 32 (2016)
Name: Executive Order 149 (2011)
Name: New York City Charter Section 224.1

Contact

Name: General Information
Organization: Mayor's Office of Operations
Address: 253 Broadway 14th Floor
New York NY 10007

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.