Local Law 85 is the mandate for compliance with the New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC). This code requires energy analysis, energy modeling and commissioning of all new construction and renovation projects.
Prior to the passage of Local Law 85, the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code only required buildings to upgrade to current code standards during renovations where more than half of the building’s systems were being replaced. Local Law 85 (LL85), the second law in the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP), requires buildings to meet the most current energy code for any renovation or alteration project. LL85's requirement is based on a series of local energy laws, collectively called New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC). NYCECC currently comprises of the 2016 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (ECCCNYS), Local Law 85 of 2009, Local Law 48 of 2010 and Local Law 1 of 2011.
During the initial application for the project, an energy analysis demonstrating the design’s compliance with the NYCECC, along with supporting documentation, must be provided. EEC will provide the lead design professional with a complete drawing set to document the energy analysis of all required systems. There are two pathways for compliance. One is to use COMcheck and the other is to use a DOE-2 based software. For more complex energy modeling, including where trade-offs among disciplines or renewable energy sources are used the DOE-2 based software approach is recommended. Such software, including updates, may include DOE2.1E, VisualDOE, EnergyPlus or eQuest.
One of the largest sources of delays for new construction and rehabilitation projects in New York City is the Energy Code compliance process. Often overlooked, Energy Code compliance approval is a mandatory pre-requisite before any project can begin construction. The initial energy code compliance review timeline can often exceed that of the rest of the project drawing set by 4 to 6 weeks due to staffing issues at the NYC DOB and all follow-up reviews can take weeks longer than other disciplines. That is why the preparation of the Energy Analysis (EN) drawings set and associated documents are of critical importance to any project’s timeline. This lengthy and time-consuming review process adds up to months of costly but avoidable delays if the right energy consultant is selected.
Engaging a firm like Efficient Energy Compliance (EEC) with its employees that are subject matter experts that specialize in this analysis is your best chance at maintaining your project schedule and avoiding costly delays. Utilizing an experienced third-party energy consultant like EEC can help proactively identify possible objections with current design and construction drawings and will eliminate many of the errors and objections that occur due to the confusion and difficulties in coordination between project team members.
A singularly focused energy consultant will not only establish how the design complies with the NYC Energy Conservation Code but make sure all supporting documentation and construction drawings are aligned with that analysis. Additionally, by engaging EEC as early as possible in the design process we can help establish accurate project timelines and make sure that initial design and construction drawings encompass the mandatory narratives and all mandatory equipment that is often missing from drawings that do not undergo review from an energy consultant.