Sustainable Building News

September 18, 2023


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Mayor Launches "Getting 97 Done"

To show his administration's commitment to the success of Local Law 97 of 2019, last week Mayor Adams launched "Getting 97 Done", a new comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions from New York City's largest buildings.

The plan includes four key elements:

  • Identifying city, state, federal & utility-based retrofit funding

  • Providing technical advice through NYC Accelerator

  • Implementing enforcement mechanisms via DOB's rule package

  • Decarbonizing central systems in partnership with NY State

By following through on these objectives, New York City will succeed in significantly reducing the City's Carbon footprint this decade, and be on the way to the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Read the Press Release

DOB Releases Latest Rules Package for Local Law 97

Our proposed second major rule package for Local Law 97 is out, providing clear guidance for enforcement, "Good Faith Efforts," affordable housing buildings, beneficial electrification and more!

Informed by the collaborative work of the city's Local Law 97 Advisory Board and Climate Working Groups, the proposed rule set includes the following provisions:

  • Set out penalties for noncompliance at the maximum amount allowed under the law;

  • Outlines how property owners can demonstrate a "Good Faith Effort", as written in Local Law 97;

  • Prohibits buildings that qualify for the "Good Faith Effort" provision of the law and implement a decarbonization plan, from purchasing renewable energy credits as part of reaching their emissions reduction targets in the first compliance period;

  • Establishes a new credit for early electrification work in a building that owners can apply towards compliance with their emissions reduction targets;

  • Provides guidance for certain affordable housing buildings and houses of worship on their Local Law 97 prescriptive compliance pathways under Article 321 of the law.

Check out the proposed rules, and learn how you can comment on the regulations at the public hearing scheduled for October 24th, 2023.

Celebrate Climate Week With Us

Climate Week in New York City starts today, September 18th. To celebrate, DOB sustainability experts are participating in online and in-person events for the public all week long.

  • On Tuesday, September 19th, DOB will be hosting "NYC Accelerator Day @ DOB" in our Manhattan Borough Office, located at 280 Broadway, Manhattan. Register for the event here.

  • Also on Tuesday, September 19th, DOB will take part in a panel discussion hosted by AIANY to talk about the City's Energy Codes and sustainability mandates. Register for the event here.

  • On Wednesday, September 20th, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. will host a Queens Climate Expo at Queens Borough Hall. RSVP for the event here.

  • On Thursday, September 21st, Urban Green will be hosting a virtual presentation by DOB's Sustainability bureau unpacking the proposed Local Law 97 rules package. Register for the event here.

  • Also on Thursday, September 21st, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Councilmember Lincoln Restler will co-sponsor the Brooklyn Sustainable Building Resource Fair at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Register for the event here.

  • On Friday, September 22nd, Chief Sustainability Officer Gina Bocra, R.A., will join Regenerative Metropolis: High Performance Carbon Sequestration, a Policy Roundtable discussing embodied cardon. Register for the event Here.

Climate Week Movie Recommendations

In honor of Climate Week, we will be sure to rewatch some of our favorite movies with climate-themed titles. Check out these much-loved films - their titles just might help you bear in mind some climate-friendly sustainability and building maintenance tips.

Some Like it Hot
Most like it hot (or at least warm) in the winter months, so to make sure your or your building's residents stay warm by regularly checking and maintaining your heating equipment. Many boilers in New York City are subject to annual inspection requirements. Get more info on boiler requirements here.

Winter temperatures in New York can get well below freezing, and pipes that are not in constant use can freeze solid. The resulting damage from frozen pipes can be a real mess. For information on how to prevent freezing, and thaw frozen pipes safely, look here.

Winter's Bone
Many preparations are needed for winter, including reducing draft, cleaning your chimney, protecting water meters, preventing snow accumulation, and installing smoke alarms. A full list of tips can be found here.

Gone with the Wind
Reduce drafts to properly air seal your home from the wind. Drafts cause heating and cooling systems to work harder to heat your home, wasting energy. See other weatherizing tips here.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Don't worry about a cloudy day with solar panels - they are still able to generate electricity in indirect light. The best time to consider solar panels for your property is now, as there are several incentives for NYC buildings to do so. Find out more about available tax abatement program here.

Singin' in the Rain
With all of the rainwater absorption, insulation, and vegetation that a Green Roof provides, you'll be singing for joy, rain or shine! There are also tax incentives for green roof insulation in NYC, more information can be found here.

Rain Man
Heavy rain bursts over a short period can cause flooding that damages streets and buildings. While storms paths can be unpredictable, you can help prevent flooding by clearing your nearest catch basin, conserving water, and treating the sewer system with care. Learn more from our friends at DEP.

Winter Is Coming - Get Prepared

Fall is almost here and winter is right behind it, so don't forget to change your household habits accordingly. It's never too late to prepare for the cold winter months. Here's a list of tips that will help you stay comfortable and save money.

  • Cover drafty windows with plastic covers or heavy drapes.

  • Find and seal any air leaks around windows, doors & plumbing.

  • Set thermostat to cooler temps while you're sleeping or not at home.

  • Schedule tune-ups/maintenance for your heating systems to make sure they're running efficiently.

  • Keep fireplace flue dampers closed to stop heat from escaping.

For more energy saving information, visit

For more information on sustainability, visit us online:

Jimmy Oddo, Commissioner

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