NYC Local Law 94 – Green Roofs
Buildings are responsible for two-thirds of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Green roofs are a multi-beneficial innovation that can play a valuable role in reducing GHG emissions and cleaning our air and water. Green roofs are now being required by NYC Local Law 94 to be installed on NYC buildings.
What is NYC Local Law 94?
New York City’s Local Law 94, passed under the New York City Climate Mobilization Act, requires the inclusion of a green roofing zone in new construction and for buildings undergoing certain major renovations.
This roofing zone must be comprised of a photovoltaic (PV) electricity generating system (Solar Panels) or a green roof. Buildings with greater than 200 square feet of usable roof space must install a minimum of 4kW PV electricity generating system. If a building is unable to install a PV electricity generating system, a green roof system must be utilized.
This is part of the “OneNYC 2050” program.
Does it apply to the building I own?
Requirements of a green roof apply to buildings with:
- New construction
- Vertical and horizontal extensions
- Major modifications to the roof requiring a permit.
Standard roof membrane replacements will not trigger these requirements. Buildings must install green roofs if solar is not feasible, and vice versa. The City may develop additional feasibility criteria beyond those included in the legislation.
How does this benefit me?
Conventional roofs – particularly asphalt roofs – absorb heat throughout the day then releasing it at night, representing heat sinks spread throughout the city. Conventional roofs cause your cooling system to work harder and your bills to be higher.
There is a guaranteed return on investment of investing in solar energy, beyond the obvious good that you will be doing for the environment.
Not only this, PV systems’ ability to allow building owners to monetize their roofs and receive low-to-no-cost energy should be well understood.
Less well understood are how solar can help building owners comply with other components of the Climate Mobilization Act, as well as the ways in which installing solar panels can benefit their buildings.
For large building owners, Local Law 97 imposes Greenhouse Gas emissions limits on New York City’s buildings, owners will receive penalties for buildings exceeding those limits. We have explained in detail about Local Law 97 here.
Having a green roof can help you comply with Local Law 97.
How do I go about it?
The Cotocon Group has extensive experience with Local Law Compliance, Green Building Certifications, and sustainable Consulting. Get in touch with us to get a free consultation.
Green House Gas Emissions – Measure – Manage – Act
Approximately 50,000 buildings larger than 25,000 square feet are responsible for 40% of New York City’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
This is not only a problem found in New York City. In fact, the built environment is one of the major emitters of the greenhouse gas of carbon across the world.
To tackle this problem, buildings need to become more sustainable and environmentally responsible, which is why in May of 2019 New York City passed the Climate Mobilization Act.
NYC Local Law 97 of 2019
On May 18, the City of New York enacted Local Law 97 of 2019 — the most ambitious climate legislation for buildings enacted by any city in the world. The new law places buildings on a path to reduce overall carbon emissions 80% by 2050 (80 x 50 Goal). Buildings, of all sizes, represent nearly 70% of the City’s emissions.
Requiring that buildings do their part to meet 80 x 50’s GHG reduction goals, Local Law 97 outlines two introductory compliance phases, with an initial period beginning 2024-2029. While some Climate Mobilization Act specifics are set to be determined by the new department, initial compliance limits are fairly rigid, and are set to target New York City buildings with the highest emissions intensity levels. Limits for the second compliance period of 2030-2034, are in line with the City’s interim emissions reduction goal of 40% by 2030 (40 x 30). The Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance will have some discretion in determining the compliance path and the carbon calculation process through the rulemaking process, but the 40% reduction limit is explicit in the legislation, with a requirement that any adjustments to emissions limits be at least as stringent as those laid out in the bill.
Simply put, if you own a building larger than 25,000 sq.ft., you need to measure your GHG emissions – through benchmarking – to analyze, manage, and potentially make improvements to comply with Local Law 97 of 2019.
How Will NYC Measure Carbon Emissions from Buildings?
As part of PlaNYC 2030, a building’s reported ENERGY STAR benchmarking score will be part of the public record. The City will utilize these reports – beginning in 2024 and submitted by owners/representatives – to verify if emission levels are in compliance. All NYC buildings 25,000 sq.ft. and larger have been required, since 2013, to annually conduct ENERGY STAR benchmarking for Local Law 84 and Local Law 133 (LL84 / LL133).
If you have not complied with these NYC benchmarking laws or worried your information has not been reported accurately, The Cotocon Group specializes in ENERGY STAR Benchmarking and can immediately help.
How Do I Measure My Building’s Carbon Emissions and Know If I Comply?
Step 1 – Measure and analyze carbon intensity by benchmarking energy consumption through the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Local Law 84 and Local law 133 (LL84 / LL133) requires benchmarking annually for buildings 25,000 sq.ft. and larger. The Cotocon Group specializes in NYC Benchmarking Compliance
Step 2 – Calculate if you’re in compliance with Local Law 97. Convert your building’s carbon footprint from Kg to metric tons by dividing by 1,000 and compare to limit determined by LL97 for your building’s occupancy group
Step 3 – If your building is over the limit and not in compliance, calculate the penalty you will receive to be prepared. Multiply the difference between the limit and your actual carbon footprint (determined in step 2) by $268.
How Do I Reduce My Carbon Emissions and Prepare for Compliance?
Buildings should begin developing long-term energy and carbon reduction strategies as soon as possible to meet emissions performance targets. This process takes time and to be successful, requires input from numerous stakeholders including tenants, building operations, ownership, and management. A carbon mitigation plan should be developed to evaluate all potential energy and carbon reduction initiatives in the near, medium, and long term:
- Base building HVAC
- Common area lighting
- Sensors and controls
- Tenant lighting, plug loads and HVAC
- Retail and ground-floor tenants
- Operator and occupant training
If you are completing or recently completed your Local Law 87 energy audits, that’s a great place to start. If you haven’t completed Local Law 87 yet, contact The Cotocon Group, we are experienced with handling all aspects of LL87 for every type of building.
What About Tenants Who Account for a Majority the Building’s Energy Use?
The energy consumption of tenants contributes substantially to overall energy use and can, therefore, account for large savings opportunities. Reducing your building’s overall energy and carbon intensity will not be possible without collaboration with all stakeholders, particularly the tenants. Meet with tenants to discuss energy efficiency and also discuss energy upgrades that can be performed mid-lease that could lower their energy bills. NYSERDA has an incentive program, the Commercial Tenant Program, that will pay for some or all of the cost of identifying energy reduction opportunities in new and existing tenants’ spaces. The Cotocon Group is an approved vendor for NYSERDA’s Commercial Tenant Program.
As reported by The New York Times, Mark Chambers, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, said that while the cumulative cost for building owners to make the retrofits would go over $4 billion, they would later recover that spent money in reduced operating expenses.
In the first few years of the law, the fines will be significant but manageable for most but not all buildings “Partial compliance with the law is possible to minimize the fines. But by 2030 the emission limits will drop sharply, and without very significant financing and technical assistance, the fines could become unmanageable for some buildings.”
New York City is now at a crossroads: it can either continue its current energy infrastructure or find new and clean ways to generate energy without making its citizens sick from harmful toxins. The main goal of these laws is not to punish the small building owners or co-ops, but to reduce the immense amounts of greenhouses gases produced by a disproportionately small share of buildings – to provide a better future for all New Yorkers.
Green House Gas Emissions – Measure Manage Act
What is it?
Sustainability is the study of how natural systems function, remain diverse and produce everything it needs for the ecology to remain in balance. “Sustainable development” meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In today’s world, we are looking to drastically reduce carbon emissions and discover and develop the technologies of the future.
Why is it Important to “Sustain the Environment”?
Well, considering we use roughly 40% more resources every year than we can replace, sustainable development is essential. This development focuses on balancing that fine line between competing needs — our need to move forward technologically and economically, and the needs to protect the environment in which we and others live.
Three Pillars of Sustainability:
- Social Development:
- Awareness of the health of people from pollution and other harmful activities of business and other organizations.
- Maintaining access to basic resources without compromising the quality of life.
- Education — Teaching people about the effects of environmental protection and the dangers of not achieving certain goals as well as encouraging people to participate in environmental sustainability.
- Economic Development: Giving people what they want without compromising quality of life, especially in the developing world, while reducing the financial burden.
- Environmental Protection: To most this is the primary concern for the future of humanity, protection such as; recycling, walking rather than driving, reducing power consumption, and regulating business pollution with carbon emission laws (i.e Climate Mobilization Act) etc…
Jobs in the Field:
- Civic Planning
- Law & Decision Making
- Corporate Strategies
- Environmental Consultancy
- Health Assessment & Planning
- Entry-Level Jobs, etc…
We can all do our part to assist in environmental sustainability from the business to Homefront, including carrying out our own environment impact assessment to ensure we use energy and water efficiently, make sure our food, furniture and clothing are from sustainable sources.
There are many ways to help make a difference, from campaigns, clean oceans, educating others, donating for causes, to empowering your community. Here are some sites you can visit for ways you can help and more information regarding today’s aggressive actions for the future of our planet.
For more information, give us a call at (212) 889-6566 or write to us.
Much conversation about carbon emissions in today’s world, in relation to climate control and global warming. Discover the many ways to decrease emissions in our daily lives.
There are both natural and human sources of carbon emissions. Natural sources include; decomposition, ocean releases and respiration. Human sources come from activities like cement production, deforestation as well as the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.
Carbon emissions contribute to climate change, which can have serious consequences for humans and their environment. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, emissions in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2), make up more than 80 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted in the Unites States.
The US Environmental Protection Agency attributed recent decreases to a reduction in emissions from fossil fuel combustion. This was a result of multiple factors including switching from coal to natural gas consumption in the electric power sector; warmer winter conditions that reduced demand for heating fuel in the residential and commercial sectors; and a slight decrease in electricity demand
Carbon affects the climate according the the theory, carbon dioxide controls temperature because the CO2 molecules in the air absorb infrared radiation. The CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere are virtually transparent to the visible radiation that delivers the sun’s energy to the earth. Rising CO2 concentrations are already casing the planet to heat up, Greenhouse warming doesn’t happen right away because the ocean soaks up heat. This means that Earth’s temperature will increase at least another 0.6 degrees Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit) because of CO2 already in the atmosphere.
Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
- Water Usage
- Reuse and Recycle
- Clean Energy Sources
- Insulate Your Home Properly
- Energy Star Appliances
- Adjust Lighting
- Moderate Thermostat
- Add Solar Panels
- Fly Less
- Walk More – Drive Less
- When Driving – Don’t Speed!
- Avoid Traffic
- Eat Locally Produced and Organic Food
- Cut Out Beef and Dairy (Food produces about 8 tons of emissions per household, or about 17% of the total. Worldwide, new reports suggest that livestock agriculture produces around a half of all man-made emissions.)
- Invest in Green Buildings
Call us for more information on how to do your part in decreasing your carbon emissions to build a better environment, (212) 889-6566
Energy Modeling, short for Building Energy Modeling (BEM), is the computer simulation of a building used to determine or estimate building energy usage. BEM is a versatile, multi-purpose tool that is used in new building and retrofit design, code compliance, green certification, qualification for tax credits and utility incentives, and real-time building control. BEM is also used in large-scale analysis to develop building energy efficiency codes and inform policy decisions.
How does it work?
A virtual building is created in a software package. First, the building components are entered. Then the building is simulated over the duration of the one year using a weather file.
This allows for multiple scenarios to balance the lowest construction cost with the lowest annual energy cost. The estimated energy cost of using different windows, walls, roofs and HVAC systems can all be quantified. This is how we decide for example, if adding wall insulation provides a shorter payback than installing a more efficient boiler or vice versa.
Energy modeling is required for LEED certification.
How to use BEM
- Building Analysis: On prototype models supports the development of energy codes and standards, as well as helps organizations like utilities and local governments plan large scale energy efficiency programs.
- Building Performance Rating: Can be used to assess the inherence performance of a building while controlling for specific use and operation. Inherence performance rating is the basis for processes like code compliance, green certifications, and financial incentives.
- Architectural Design: To design energy efficient buildings, specifically to inform quantitive trade-offs between up-front construction costs and operational energy costs. In many cases, BEM can reduce both energy costs and up-front construction costs.
- HVAC Design and Operation: Commercial building HVAC systems can be large and complex, BEM helps mechanical engineers design HVAC systems that meet building thermal loads efficiently. It also helps design and test control strategies for these systems.
- System feasibility
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Cumulative financial costs
- Natural resource use
- Energy efficiency
- Help to identify which system is the best for your building
- Understand the total costs of ownership
- Achieve “green building” standards (LEED, ASHRAE, etc…)
- Comply with utility and municipality rebate programs
The Cotocon Group specializes in Energy Modeling, for more information call us at (212) 889-6566!
What is OneNYC 2050?
OneNYC 2050 is a strategy to secure our city’s future against the challenges of today and tomorrow. With bold actions to confront our climate crisis, achieve equity, and strengthen our democracy, we are building a strong and fair city. Created under the requirements of Local Law 84 of 2013, OneNYC 2050 is New York City’s long-term strategic plan. OneNYC provided a blueprint for tackling New York City’s most significant challenges— population growth, aging infrastructure, increasing inequality, evolving economy, and climate change.
City’s Goals for 2050:
- End reliance on fossil fuels
- To be completely powered by renewable energy (ex: buildings, transportation, economy).
- Dependence on cars, No More!
- Upgraded bike lanes, fast & reliable buses & subways, & easy transport with ferry rides.
- Safe & secure housing
- Cultural centers, libraries, small businesses, & corner grocery stores (open late for convenience).
- Economic security
- Good jobs, fair wages, benefits, & advancement.
- Equal childhood education
- Modern & reliable NYC infrastructure
- Roads, railways, tunnels, bridges, water supply, & electric grid all ready for the demands of a growing city.
- Vibrant democracy
- Every voice to be heard, immigrants from every culture are warmly welcomed.
- Carbon Neutrality
- Guaranteed healthcare
- Regardless of income or immigration status.
- Ending Opiod Edpidemic
- Protection for tenants from displacement
- Securing the city’s financial stability
“Together we will build a strong and fair city”
OneNYC 2050 is a bold, intelligent, and forward plan for the future of New York City. The Cotocon Group is proud to be in full support of the challenges ahead in order to achieve these goals. Call us for more information, (212) 889-6566.
NYC Local Law 55
& Tenant Safety
New York City tenants can breathe easy because of Local Law 55 that was put into effect in January of 2018. This Local Law requires all multiple-dwelling property owners in NYC to investigate and remove all indoor health hazards which trigger asthma like, mold, rodents and cockroaches. Landlords must also apply safe and successful measures to ensure that their properties remain free of indoor health hazards.
The NYC Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) is responsible for carrying out Housing in New York. This is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiative to build and preserve 300,000 affordable homes by 2026. The agency’s mission is to promote the quality and affordability of the city’s housing and the strength and diversity of its many neighborhoods. HPD strives to achieve this mission by:
- Preserving affordable housing and protecting tenants
- Developing new affordable housing
- Enforcing the Housing Maintenance Code
- Engaging neighborhoods in planning
In NYC tenants have many rights relating to the safety and quality of their housing. HPD works to protect these rights by preventing harassment, displacement, and ensuring low-income tenants facing legal proceedings in housing Court have universal access to legal representation.
Maintenance Requirements by Landlords
- Heart and Hot Water
- Indoor Allergen Hazards (Mold and Pests)
- Bedbugs (Local Law 69 of 2017)
- Lead-Based Paint (Local Law 1 of 2004)
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Window Guards (Local Law 57 of 2011)
- Basement and Cellar
- Signage, Filling, and Notices
- Outlet Covers in Public Areas
- Fire Safety (Local Law 10 of 1999)
- Stove Knob Covers
Violations For Noncompliance
Properties are subject to the penalties described below unless violations are corrected and the correction is certified to the Department by the dates indicated on the front of the Notice of Violation(s) mailed to the property owner or, in the case of heat and hot water violations, from the date the violation is posted at the building.
Class A Violations (Non-Hazardous)
- Failure to post a notice regarding the housing information guide: $250 each
- All other Class A violations: $10-$50 each
Class B Violations (Hazardous)
- $25-$100 each, plus $10 per violation per day
Class C Violations (Immediately Hazardous)
- Not related to heat, hot water, or illegal devices or lead-based paint:
- Buildings with 5 or fewer units: $50 per violation per day
- Buildings with more than 5 units: $50-$100 per violation plus $125 per violation per day
- Heat and hot water violations:
- $250-$500 per day for each violation from and including the date the notice is posted at the building until the date the violation is corrected
- $500-$1000 per day for each subsequent violation at the same building that occurs within two consecutive calendar years or, in the case of (hot water) during two consecutive periods of October 1st through May 31st (heat)
- Illegal Device on a central heating system:
- $25 per day (from the date the violation was posted on the building until the illegal device is removed) or $1,000, whichever is more
- Lead-Based paint violations:
- $250 per day violation, up to a maximum of $10,000
- False Certification: (can result in criminal charges)
- $50-$250 for non-lead violations
- A minimum of $1000 with a maximum of $3000 for lead violations.
Need to Correct a Mold Violation?
If your inspection reveals the existence of mold in your building, you’ll need to take immediate steps to correct it so that you’re not issued a violation. HPD has very specific criteria for who can perform a remediation for mold. According to Local Law 55, a mold hazard must be assessed and remediated by both the NYS licensed Mold Assessor and a NYS licensed Mold Remediator.
Bills Within The Act
By now almost everyone has an idea about what the Climate Mobilization Act, i.e the Green New Deal entails. It’s all over the news and social media, but what’s not there is the fine print. The laws within the Act are precisely the most important pieces of the entire puzzle. There are several bills or Local Laws in the Green New Deal,that we at The Cotocon Group have carefully put together for you.
Local Law 97 of 2019:
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Starting in 2024, buildings over 25,000 square feet will be mandated to meet carbon emission limits. Buildings that exceed their designated Energy Use Intensity (EUI) limits will face steep penalties, depending on their facility. There are initiations of emission trading systems to be updated by 2021 as well as renewable energy credits (RECs) limited to NYS electric generation for up to 10% of compliance with the emission limit of a building.
Local Law 96 of 2019:
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Voluntary Finance Program
Establishes a Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, i.e PACE. A sustainable energy loan program which is a voluntary financing mechanism that will provide low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency projects. P PACE will help building owners finance energy efficiency projects that are required by the new legislation in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions citywide.
PACE financing will be repaid as an assessment on the property’s regular tax bill and can be used for commercial, nonprofit, and residential properties.
Local Law 94/92 of 2019:
Requirement of Green Roofs on NYC Buildings
Requires the inclusion of a green roofing zone in new construction and for buildings undergoing certain major renovations. This roofing zone must be comprised of a photovoltaic (PV) electricity generating system (Solar Panels) or a green roof. Buildings with greater than 200 square feet of usable roof space must install a minimum of 4kW PV electricity generating system. If a building is unable to install a PV electricity generating system, a green roof system must be utilized.
These package of bills aim to significantly reduce New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions and fight against climate change. The NYC Climate Mobilization Act includes local laws, introductions, and resolutions. We can only hope that these bills as well as property owners compliance will lead to a productive and positive outcome for our planets future.
The Cotocon Group believes firmly in a sustainable environment and works side by side with developers, building owners, and property managers to guide them into compliance. For any questions or information, please call us at, (212) 889-6566.