Getting Your Building Ready to Comply with Local Law 97

October 1, 2020

Buildings are one of the heaviest producers of greenhouse gases in the United States. 

In New York City alone, they account for over 70% of annual CO2 emissions (!!!). 

With Great Buildings Come Great Responsibility…. 

In 2019, recognizing the sizeable impact NYC buildings emissions have on our climate, the City of New York enacted The Climate Mobilization Act, the cornerstone of which is Local Law 97 (LL97),  an ambitious new law that sets emissions caps for buildings larger than 25,000 square feet. The law is the most progressive building emissions legislation enacted by any city in the world, and it’s clear, New York, a city filled with soaring skyscrapers, has aimed just as high in setting the standard for other cities to follow.   

GOAL OF LOCAL LAW 97: Cut Carbon Emissions in NYC Buildings 

By 2030 – reduction goal = 40%  

By 2050 – reduction goal = 80% 

(reduction is measured from 2005 baseline data, the peak year of NYC GHG emissions)

Buildings that do not comply with LL 97 will face fines set at $268 per ton of emissions that are in excess of the individual building’s cap in a given year (not filing a report carries a penalty of $0.50 per GSF per month!).

How You Can Prepare

As leaders in the field of building restoration, contacting HLZAE is a great first step! 

We can assist in finding out your building’s energy score and if needed, conduct an energy audit to determine the most cost-effective improvements for your building that will benefit it in the short and long term. 

There are numerous possibilities when upgrading a building, and the effectiveness of a specific measure varies in each case, but when it comes to energy efficiency these are some methods that we’ve found most effective: 

Efficient facades and windows  Buildings can lose heat through their exterior (envelope) during winter, and they can gain heat during summer. This increases the workload on heating and air conditioning systems. Any measures that reduce heat gain and heat loss can improve energy efficiency. 
Efficient air conditioning  Air conditioning is the largest load during summer. While it does not produce emissions at the point of use, the resulting emissions at power plants are significant. As of 2018, New York still gets around 70% of its electricity from fossil fuels. As a result, each used has a high carbon footprint. 
Efficient boilers and water heaters  While air conditioning is the largest electrical load, heating represents the largest fraction of total energy consumption in NYC buildings. Many old buildings have oversized steam heating systems that are very inefficient. 

Other services we offer that aid in improving the efficiency of your building include: 

  • Physical Conditions Assessments & Capital Improvement Plans  
  • Building Envelope Analysis   
  • Building Systems Analysis 
  • Window Replacement & Window Masterplans 
  • Roof Replacement & Green Roofs 
  • Façade Upgrades 
  • Heating Plant Upgrades 
  • Chiller Upgrades & Conversions 
  • Cooling Tower Upgrades 
  • Electrical Upgrades 
  • Oil to Gas Conversions 

In addition to fulfilling city requirements, many energy efficient upgrades result in  saving owners money over the long term and are often already part of the planned upkeep schedule in the building’s life. 

Find out more how we can you prepare your building for Local Law 97!  

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