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NYC Mayor's Office of Environmental Coordination

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Q:  When does a project need to apply to the USGBC for certification of the required LEED® rating level?
A: On LL86 LEED projects where construction is managed by a city agency and that are using a LEED rating system, that agency must apply to the USGBC for certification that a certain number have achieved the required LEED rating level.  Specifically, out of all projects in a managing agency that are using a LEED rating system (as opposed to Green Schools 2007) to meet the LL86 LEED minimum rating level requirement and where project construction is being managed by that agency (as opposed to projects where only a funding, lease, or land acquisition agreement is being managed by the agency), enough of these projects must apply to the USGBC as necessary to ensure that at least 50% of the city funds paid each fiscal year towards implementation of all such projects in that managing agency are paid towards the implementation of projects that have applied to the USGBC for certification. Note that, while the agency's remaining LL86 LEED projects are not required by LL86 to apply to the USGBC, the agency may nevertheless require that some or all of these other projects apply to the USGBC as a way to enforce LL86 compliance.

Q:  How should I account for inflation when implementing the law?
A: In accordance with LL86, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination is required, each calendar year, to publish inflation factors for city agencies and others to use for the purpose of adjusting the cost thresholds that are cited in the law.  These may be viewed at Inflation Factors.

Q:  Can I use the City’s purchase of wind power credits to qualify for points under the Green Power Credit in several LEED® rating systems?
A: It is likely that city agencies involved in LL86 projects with a LEED® requirement will be able to use the City’s wind power credit purchases in order to qualify for points under both the Green Power and the Innovation Credits in a number of LEED® rating systems.  Information on how to apply to the USGBC for such points is available at Green Power Credit Request.

Q: Since applicable energy rates can vary by project and can affect the calculations performed to demonstrate compliance with LL86 energy cost reduction requirements, what rates should I use?
A:  The rates used to demonstrate compliance with energy cost reduction requirements should be consistent with those used by the calculation methodology required by LL86.  Specifically, in cases where the required methodology is to follow a reference standard of the NYS Energy Code then such reference standard, with the governing authority as the Department of Buildings, should be followed when determining what rates to use.  For the few smaller LEED projects that utilize the reference standard in the Energy and Atmosphere chapter of LEED, such LEED standard, with the governing authority as the USGBC,  should be followed to determine rates.  However, note that, for the purposes of reporting benefits of LL86 each year, MOEC will utilize summary or average annual rates of typical energy rate groups provided by the Department of Administrative Services (DCAS). Specifically, the most applicable energy rate groups, of those provided by DCAS, that are reported by agencies will be used by MOEC to calculate the benefits related to the minimum 20-30% LL86 energy cost reduction requirements for LEED® projects and the minimum 5-10% energy cost reduction requirements for covered lighting, boiler, and HVAC comfort control installations.  

Q:  Who is responsible for fulfilling the LL86 reporting requirements each year?
A: As the representative of the Mayor, MOEC must prepare a report on LL86 projects for each fiscal year.  The managing agency, i.e. either the city agency that manages construction of a project or the city agency that holds a funding, lease, or land acquisition agreement with a non-city entity for the expenditure of city funds on the project, are responsible to ensure that all project data are provided each year in accordance with the Reporting Guidelines issued by MOEC. 

Q:  What methodology should I use to demonstrate compliance with the energy cost reduction requirements that apply to a LEED project with construction costs of $12 million or more or to a project that involves covered boiler, lighting, and HVAC comfort control installations?
A:  LL86 rules define the methodology to demonstrate compliance with the law's energy cost reduction requirements as the more stringent of the latest version of the NYS Energy Code or the Energy and Atmosphere Credit 1 in LEED® NC 2.1.  Since LEED® NC 2.1 references ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1 1999, the same standard as that referenced by the NYS energy code that was in effect when the law took effect, since this NYS energy code standard has been superseded several times by later versions of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1, and since the methodology adopted should not change once design is underway,  the methodology utilized for calculating the energy cost reduction requirements in the law can be simply stated as the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1 code standard of the NYS Energy Code in effect at the start of design.  Specifically, the Energy Cost Budget (ECB) method in Section 11 of this code standard should be used to demonstrate compliance with the minimum 20-30% energy cost reduction requirements for LEED® projects of $12 million or more and the prescriptive path of the same standard should be used to calculate  the minimum 5-10% energy cost reduction requirements for covered boiler, lighting, and HVAC comfort controls installations.

Q:  When did the NYS Energy Code standard for calculating LL86 energy cost reduction requirements change ?
A:  The NYS Energy Code has become more stringent by amendment three times since the law took effect on January 1, 2007. The original standard, ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1 1999, was superseded on

  • January 1, 2008 by ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1 2001, which was superseded on
  • April 9, 2008 by ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1 2004, which was superseded on
  • December 28, 2010 by ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1 2007.       

Q:  To develop the baseline and design case energy use and electric demand data that must be reported at the end of each FY, should I use the same methodology as that used to demonstrate compliance with LL86? 
A:  For a project or project phase subject to the LEED® project 20-30% energy cost reduction requirements or the system specific 5-10% energy cost reduction requirements, the methodology used for reporting should be consistent with that required to confirm compliance with such requirements.  However, if the project is not subject to the above LL86 energy cost reduction requirements, as is the case for a LEED® project with a construction cost less than $12M, the methodology for developing energy use and electric demand data for reporting should be consistent with that described in the energy and atmosphere section of the LEED rating system used on the project.   

Q:  How exactly is the start of design determined? 
A:  The start of design is the date when the first contract for services to design the project work that is subject to LL86 requirements is executed by either the agency or the non-city entity managing such services.  Note that contracts for design services related exclusively to capitally eligible work that does not involve work subject to LL86 requirements should not be considered for the purposes of establishing the start of design.  Examples of such contracts include those for work related to master planning and feasibility studies, probes, demolition, environmental remediation, or the installation of sanitary, stormwater, or water supply infrastructure.

Q:  How can my project receive an exemption from LL86?
A: LL86 allows the Mayor’s Office to grant a project whole or partial exemptions from one or more of the eleven LL86 requirements with the following limitation: for each of the 11 requirements in LL86, the city funds released from the city treasury in each fiscal year to projects receiving a whole or partial exemption from the requirement, i.e. the annual "exemption value" for the requirement, must be less than 20% of the dollars released in that same fiscal year to all projects subject to the same requirement with the following exception:  for the purposes of calculating this annual "exemption value", the funds released from the city treasury to projects receiving partial exemptions will be adjusted to reflect the difference between the construction cost of the design that would fully comply with such requirement and the construction cost of the proposed design that will partially comply with the requirement.  To apply for an exemption, agencies should follow the instructions at LL86 Exemption Request.