As a tool to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with new and existing buildings, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has launched NYStretch Energy Code.
The model, also known as NYStretch, will help New York State meet its energy and climate reduction goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Going beyond the minimum energy code requirements of the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (ECCCNYS) will help New York achieve 80 by 50. It is set to go into effect on March 3rd.
What Does This Mean if You Are a Developer or Owner in New York City?
Benefits of NYStretch Code Compared to 2020 ECCCNYS
The NYStretch code goes beyond the 2020 ECCCNYS.
- Tighter building envelopes
- Better window performance
- Mandatory mechanical ventilation, air barrier commissioning, and air leakage testing
- More efficient lighting and controls
- Whole-building energy monitoring to ensure ongoing, high-performance operation
- Compatibility with renewable energy systems and electric vehicles
What can all this do for you?
- Saves money and energy for the long-term
- Reduces operating costs
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
- Improves building performance and value
- Improves tenant comfort
- Increases community and building attractiveness
How Does the NYStretch Code Interact With Local Law 97?
With NYStretch code, implementing a higher-performing envelope can also help you meet your building’s carbon emissions limit required by Local Law 97 (LL97). This is done by reducing HVAC system loads, and thus, carbon emissions, as you need less heating and cooling in your buildings.
But just because you meet the 2020 NYStretch code, doesn’t mean you will automatically comply with LL97.
While the NYStretch code aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring higher efficient systems, it still allows you to use systems that operate using natural gas and oil. It’s important to remember that choosing HVAC systems that use fossil fuel will likely cause fines under LL97 since the use of fossil fuels drives up building carbon emissions. The best way for owners and developers to ensure high-performance and LL97 compliance is to assess if going 100% electric could work for your building. Electrifying your building is the most likely way to eliminate LL97 fines for buildings that aren’t pursuing net-zero or Passive House.
Regardless of what HVAC system you choose or the feasibility of electrifying your building, focusing on a high-performance building envelope can help reduce HVAC system loads and carbon emissions.
Learn How to Navigate NYStretch Energy Code
NYSERDA provides a code manual that shares how to achieve this standard. They are also offering support to those interested—contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re working with Bright Power, we can use this code as our new benchmark during design. If you have any questions about implementing NYStretch Energy Code for your building retrofit, rehab, or new development, please reach out to us today!