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November 12, 2019
by Adam Roberts
Maritime building renovation. Image credit: SounderBruce via Flickr.

Six months ago, the New York City Council passed a package of laws mandating sustainable design practices and techniques, including Local Law 92 of 2019, Local Law 94 of 2019, and Local Law 97 of 2019. As these laws are going into effect in the middle of November, it is important that architects are aware of their provisions and what enforcement entails.

LL92 and LL94 require the installation of green roofs and/or photovoltaic electricity generating systems on new buildings, as well as buildings enlarging and replacing their roofs. The law is an important step forward for sustainable design in New York City. However, the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) has caused a bit of a stir with Bulletin 2019-010, which requires that all applications not approved by November 15, 2019 comply with law’s provisions. While installation of green roofs and solar panels are good for New York City, retroactively enforcing a law’s provisions can seriously increase a project’s cost and timeframe. AIANY has joined with other groups to ask DOB to enforce LL92 and LL94 for applications which have not been filed by November 15, 2019, rather than those which have been not been approved by that date.

Local Law 97, which requires that most large buildings in New York City remain under certain emissions limits, begins implementation this month as well. The initial provision going into effect is the formation of an Advisory Board composed of experts in sustainable design, including architects. This board will make recommendations to DOB regarding rulemaking for the next stages of the bill, most importantly solidifying paths for compliance. Compliance will begin for the worst performing buildings starting in 2024, with all covered buildings needing to comply by 2030.

AIANY will continue to advocate for the effective enforcement of these important pieces of legislation. We also encourage members to take advantage of programs that allow for easier compliance, such as NYSERDA’s Commercial Tenant Program, which fully funds design consultant fees for retrofits.

Pulse Points:

  • The December 1, 2019 deadline to comply with the Site Safety Training requirements of Local Law 196 of 2017 is fast approaching. Architects who act as Site Safety Managers, Site Safety Coordinators, Concrete Safety Managers, Construction Superintendents and Competent Persons designated by Construction Superintendents must complete the training. AIANY is offering the required 32 hour Supervisor portion of the training.
  • DOB is hosting a series of workshops on the implementation of DOB NOW, its online filing system. We highly encourage you to attend one of these workshops in order to better inform the City about improvements that could be made to the system.

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