Recent Legislation for Green Buildings

Green Roofing

The New York City Council has recently enacted, at Mayor Bloomberg’s request, four laws[1] that are designed to increase the energy efficiency of buildings in New York City.  The legislation is rather complex, with various “start” dates, but the basic provisions that apply to cooperatives and condominiums are as follows:

  • Effective July 1, 2010, all alterations, including apartment alterations, that require building permits must comply with the new New York City Energy Conservation Code and must be certified accordingly.
  • Commencing January 1, 2013, all owners of “covered buildings” (those over 50,000 gross square feet) must file an energy efficiency report during the 10 year period.  The first report is due in the calendar year with a final digit that is also the final digit of the building’s tax block number.   Subsequent reports are due every ten years thereafter.[2]  The report consists of an energy audit of the building’s base systems and a retro-commissioning report of work performed to correct deficiencies in the base systems.  These audits and reports do not cover systems owned by individual residents.
  • The statutes have limited retrofit provisions for “covered buildings” including
    • Lighting systems in covered buildings must be upgraded by January 1, 2025;
    • Electricity submeters must be installed in all commercial tenant spaces larger than 10,000 gross square feet or a floor larger than 10,000 gross square feet that is let or sublet to two or more commercial tenants prior to January 1, 2025; and
    • Covered buildings must supply “benchmarking” data for energy and water use on or before May 1, 2011, and no later than May 1st of every year thereafter.

These laws are complex, with many specific requirements (and exemptions), so we recommend an in depth review to determine the specific impact that these laws will have on your cooperative or condominium.  Some buildings may want to amend their alteration agreements to make specific reference to the New York City Energy Conservation Code which will become a precondition to certain filings.  If you would be interested in such a review or have any questions, please contact us.

[1]  Local Laws 84/2009, 85/2009, 87/2009 and 88/2009, all codified in the New York City Building Code (Title 28 of the Administrative Code).

[2]  For example, if your tax block number ends in a “3”, the reports are due in 2013, 2023, 2033, etc.  If your tax block number ends in a “1”, the reports are due in 2021, 2031, 2041, etc.


This memorandum was initially issued by the cooperative/condominium practice group of Balber Pickard Maldonado & Van Der Tuin, PC which joined Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP on February 1, 2017 and now practices as part of SGR’s cooperative/condominium practice group.

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