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DOB releases new digital tools to help building owners go green

The Department of Buildings (DOB) today unveiled new digital resources to help building owners comply with building sustainability requirements. A new website, “NYC Sustainable Buildings,” serves as a one-stop shop for owners and property managers of buildings that are covered by Local Law 97. Buildings covered by this law are required to meet stringent greenhouse gas emissions limits and may need to make energy efficiency retrofits to meet those targets.

In addition, new maps allow the public to see the location of all large buildings in the city that must meet new greenhouse gas emission limits, as well as the energy grades of those that are required to provide benchmarking information on their energy and water consumption.


“We must meet our aggressive climate change goals, and these new digital tools put information in the hands of the public and building owners to make that a reality,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “We’re pleased to bring greater transparency to how our Green New Deal tackles the city’s largest source of emissions, our buildings.”

“Making our buildings more energy efficient is a critical tool to fight climate change and ensure a sustainable future for New York City. Property owners deserve easy, accessible resources to comply with City regulations, and I’m excited to see the Department of Buildings making climate action easier than ever,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin.

The “NYC Sustainable Buildings” website provides building owners with a hub that helps them determine how to comply with mandatory energy efficiency retrofits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as required by Local Law 97 of 2019. The website answers frequently asked questions and shares resources to help with building retrofits, including information about compliance metrics, adjustment programs, and financial assistance. The website will be updated frequently as new information becomes available, and the DOB’s Climate Advisory Board develops recommendations on the implementation of Local Law 97. A new sustainability-focused newsletter will also facilitate direct outreach to building owners as those recommendations are released and new tools are developed.

The new Local Law 97 map allows the public to find the location of each of the approximately 40,000 buildings around the five boroughs that must comply with the law. The new Local Law 33 map shows the energy efficiency letter grade sign assigned to each of these buildings, which is based on energy and water benchmarking data submitted to the DOB on an annual basis.

Local Law 97 of 2019 is the centerpiece of Mayor de Blasio’s NYC Green New Deal. Buildings greater than 25,000 gross square feet must begin to meet stringent greenhouse gas emissions limits by 2024 or be subject to violations. By 2030, emissions from these covered buildings must be reduced by 40 percent, and by 2050, further reduced to 80 percent. Local Law 33 of 2018 requires that energy grades be assigned to certain buildings who are required to benchmark their energy and water usage. These grades are required to be posted prominently at building entrances.


“To building owners wondering how they can take action on climate: help is on the way,” said Ben Furnas, Director of the Mayor’s Office for Climate and Sustainability. “Getting to carbon neutrality by 2050 will require us to dramatically cut buildings’ greenhouse gas emissions across the five boroughs. The DOB’s Sustainable Buildings website, alongside our NYC Accelerator program, will provide property owners and managers the tools they need to meet Local Law 97 requirements, retrofit their buildings for energy efficiency, and improve tenants’ comfort.”

“The success of Local Law 97 will be guided by transparent requirements and tools for building owners to take action. DOB’s new sustainable buildings website provides just that and is an important step to help deliver the carbon savings we need,” said John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council.

“New York’s professional engineering community is strongly committed to helping the city achieve sustainability, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions. It will take unprecedented effort and coordination among building owners, operators, design professionals and our partners in government to implement the reductions required by Local Law 97. On behalf of the engineering industry, ACEC New York commends the NYC Department of Buildings for launching these new digital tools and resources, which will facilitate achieving this goal,” said Jay Simson, President & CEO, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York.

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