Here is what you need to know, in a nutshell.
The Department of Buildings released three Local Laws changing key definitions that broaden the types of buildings required to benchmark, upgrade lighting and install sub-meters. These Local Laws amend the Administrative Code to redefine covered buildings, city buildings and covered tenant spaces.
New York City and State will implement their new Energy Codes on October 3, 2016. New York State Energy Conservation Code (NYSECC) is based on the International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE 90.1-2013. The New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) is the adopted version of Local Law 91.
The DOB released two memos declaring intent to increase penalties for Energy Code violations. The first memo concerns energy compliance during the construction process. The DOB plans to issue violations that can escalate into class 2 ECB violations, which require proof of a remedy and may carry hefty fines.
So many new codes have been released since 2014 that building professionals are still catching their collective breath. The FDNY released a memo simplifying some of the most important changes in the 2014 Fire Code. The changes can broadly be categorized to include codes relating to fire escape plans and those relating to road and rooftop accessibility.
As part of its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, New York City targets its largest buildings for annual energy benchmarking. Backed by Local Law 84, benchmarking requires covered buildings to report their annual usage of water, electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and more.
On August 7th, 2015 the Health Department made mandatory the inspection of all New York City cooling towers within 14 days. The inspection is the result of the recent outbreak of Legionnaires Disease pinpointed to bacteria found in cooling towers. In the last month alone, Legionnaires’ Disease has claimed 10 lives and hospitalized 100, all in the South Bronx.
As expected, Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler released a Code of Conduct memo outlining the rules and regulations for industry professionals.
Integrity is a pillar of DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler’s Building One City blueprint. DOB employees have been subject to a Code of Conduct since 2009. The Code of Conduct establishes ethical codes and standards of conduct for DOB employees. In the summer of 2015 the DOB will release an industrywide Code of Conduct that will extend to developers, professionals and other project stakeholders.
Commissioning is a series of inspections by registered design professionals certifying energy performance of building systems are compliant with approved construction documents and the New York City Energy Conservation Code. Registered design professionals shall provide evidence of mechanical systems commissioning and completion prior to passing of final inspections. The NYCECC requires commissioning to ensure systems are not exceeding the energy use permitted by the energy and mechanical codes.
All mid-rise and high-rise building owners are required to paint Siamese connections, which are the two-headed pipes in front of buildings, red, green or yellow. Red represents a connection to the standpipe system, or the vertical pipes that run through a building. Green connections link to the sprinkler system of a building.
The New York City Council voted to adopt the ECCCNYS energy code changes proposed by the New York Fire Prevention and Building Code Council of New York State. The changes will have a significant impact in migrating commercial buildings toward the use of more energy efficient LED lighting. Similar changes to promote LED use in residential buildings will likely come when the ECCCNYS revises the residential portion of the code in May of 2015.
Before the proliferation of water bottles, drinking fountains were relied upon to quench one’s thirst. But water fountains aren’t thoughtlessly installed into buildings. The New York City Plumbing Code has clear-cut laws on access to water and water fountains.
Architects, engineers, contractors, and inspectors need to familiarize themselves with the new special inspections debuting with the 2014 Building Code that rolls out on December 31, 2014. Here are some of those new special inspections.
In 2011, the DOB digitized the job filing process in New York City with the launch of the Development Hub. The Hub was a pivotal change in job filing procedure. When it comes to document exchange, drawing edits, meetings, and access to plan examiners, the Hub has been instrumental in streamlining the filing process. However, filing within the Hub may not be the best option for every job.