Benchmarking your Multi-family Building

April 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment

As we mentioned a few months ago, some multi-family buildings in NYC will soon be subject to new regulations. As part of the Mayor’s PlaNYC 2030 program, buildings over 50,000 sqaure feet will soon need to conduct annual benchmarks of their current energy use. The Network Green Housing Initiative realizes that complying with Local Law 84 may be difficult for some of our members, so we’ve done some research on how to comply, who can help you and challenges to look out for. Over the next couple of weeks we will be posting our findings here in sections. Please keep in mind that our research is not comprehensive; it should be regarded as a helpful resource for getting started, not a definitive guide to the law.

Also, although you’ll note that the effective deadline for compliance is now August 1, 2011, we strongly advise you to begin the process now. There are several points along the way at which you might get delayed or stuck, and time delays will be longer the closer to the deadline you get.

Part One: Introduction to LL84

In December 2009, Mayor Bloomberg signed into law the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan for New York City. One component of the legislation requires that owners of buildings over 50,000 square feet complete a benchmarking assessment for each of those buildings by May 1, 2011.  On March 21st, the city announced a grace period for benchmarking penalties until August 1st, effectively extending the deadline.  You are still encouraged to start the benchmarking process as soon as possible.   After August 1st a fine of $500 will be assessed for every quarter that building owners do not comply.

Does LL84 apply to your building?

The law applies to commercial and residential buildings whose lots are over 50,000 square feet. For purposes of determining whether your building is covered by the law, you should use the number provided by the NYC Department of Finance website. However, keep in mind that this is not the same number that you should report as your building’s gross square footage when you are filling in the benchmarking software. Most, though not all, covered buildings are listed by PlaNYC 2030 according to their block and lot number; find your building’s block and lot number on NYC’s Building Information Search website or NYC’s Property Address Search website.

What is benchmarking?

Benchmarking is the process of reporting a building’s energy consumption, and the characteristics that influence its consumption, to give owners a better understanding of how efficiently their buildings use different types of energy.  This information is used to compare a given building to others within an agency’s portfolio and to other buildings in a database that have similar characteristics. Thus, it can inform decisions on which buildings to focus on when investing in energy efficiency retrofits to your portfolio. Initially, New York City’s benchmarking program will not be able to offer ratings that allow owners to compare their buildings, but when the city has collected enough data, in two to three years, they will begin using this feature – which is a primary goal of the Greener Greater Buildings Plan.

Check back soon for Section Two: Benchmarking on your own

And please get in touch with us (through comments or email) and let us know if whether this was helpful, or if you have questions!

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Stormwater Impacts Calculator Complying with LL84: Part Two – Benchmarking on your own

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