The City Capital Green Building Program is an effort by the City of New York to ensure most capital projects it owns, or funds, are designed and constructed to be more energy efficient. This effort was first undertaken in 2005 with the passing of Local Law 86 and has been expanded upon through enactment of Local Laws 31and 32 of 2016. These laws require more stringent green building design standards for city-funded capital projects and requires them to consume significantly less energy than similar existing building types. This effort is in support of the City of New York’s OneNYC Plan 2050 goal to achieve carbon neutrality and position New York City to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and local and regional resilience.
The Director of the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination (MOEC), as established by Executive Order 97 of 2006, has the authority to exercise the powers and duties of the Mayor in conjunction with the implementation of Local Law 31 and 32 of 2016 – revisions of Local Law 86 of 2005. Further, as established by Executive Order 149 of 2011, the Director's responsibilities include periodically evaluating the stringency of the law's minimum requirements and, if warranted by developments and advancements within the green building industry, to change them as well as to expand the category of projects subject to the law's goals and polices.
In 2016, the New York City Council adopted Local Laws 31 and 32 (LL31, LL32). These laws amended Local Law 86 of 2005 (LL86), one of the nation's first green building laws. These laws apply to all capital projects added to the capital plan on or after July 1, 2017. The applicability of these laws to capital projects is largely dependent on estimated construction cost, building occupancy group and project scope. These laws are codified within the New York City Charter, Chapter 9, Capital Projects and Budget, Section 224.1: Green Building Standards, which include the original provisions of LL86 and the additional provisions of LL31 and 32.
LL31 and LL32 require new buildings, additions, and substantial building reconstruction projects that receive city funds to be built to specific design and energy use standards. Regarding design, most projects must be built to standards as organized by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). A key addition to these laws from Local Law 86 of 2005 was the establishment of targets and limits for energy use intensity. Leveraging city benchmarking data owned projects are alternatively required to reduce energy obtained through Local Law 84 of 2009, as well as ASHRAE 90.1 and other established stringent standards, the law requires applicable city-owned projects to largely reduce energy use intensity by 50 percent from the baseline performance of buildings of a similar type. Similar non-city-costs. The laws also require that larger lighting, boiler, HVAC, and plumbing installations and replacements be designed and built to reduce the use of both energy and potable water. Specific occupancy groups (F, H) have different designated standards, and some (groups A5 and U) are exempt from all the cited provisions.