Local Law 97 – How We Can Help

If you’re a building owner in New York City, you’re almost certainly aware of Local Law 97 (LL97) passed in April 2019 as part of the mayor’s Green New Deal and aimed at helping make the nation’s largest city carbon-neutral by 2050. The law focuses on the nearly 60% of city buildings that generate more greenhouse gases than any other single source in the city. Specifically, it requires most buildings over 25,000 square feet or combinations of buildings with equivalent square footage to meet a series of increasingly strict requirements for energy efficiency. Given the age of many buildings in the Big Apple, this can mean substantial, costly retrofitting to bring structures into compliance. New technologies from FreMarq Innovations offer less expensive, more effective solutions.

What Buildings are Subject to Local Law 97?

Structures subject to emissions improvements to comply with LL97 include most buildings that are:

  • Greater than 25,000 square feet
  • Tax lots with two or more buildings totaling 50,000 square feet or more
  • Condo building groups managed by the same board and totaling 50,000 square feet or more

The law does also allow some alternative routes to compliance under specific circumstances, such as certain kinds of housing affiliated with religious groups, electric power generation facilities, buildings on New York City Housing Authority lands, and some others.

What are the Criteria for Compliance?

Compliance requirements for the approximately 45,000 buildings that must meet LL97 efficiency requirements vary according to a building’s usage and occupancy. Structures with such uses as medical offices, retail space, assembly, and hotels have the highest carbon limits, while those which serve as warehouses, factories, multifamily houses, and schools must meet the most stringent emissions requirements. January 2024 carbon limits range from 4.26 to 23.81 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions per square foot (kgCO2e/sq. ft.), and by 2030, carbon emissions are limited to 1.1 to 11.93 kgCO2e/sq. ft.

Penalties for Non-compliance

Building owners who fail to meet minimum efficiency requirements by 2025 may be charged a civil penalty equaling the difference between their actual emissions and the acceptable threshold for their building usage category. Additional violations may also be charged if non-compliance continues through future deadlines.

Retrofitting a Building for Compliance

Whether it’s older windows, inadequate caulking, failing gaskets, cracks, rust, missed maintenance, the passage of time, or a combination of these and other problems, nearly every building needs at least some updates to be adequately energy efficient. Bringing an older building into LL97 energy efficiency compliance can involve everything from smaller projects like caulking and adding insulation to major renovations such as updating HVAC, and replacing windows. Structurally sound buildings can benefit from reglazing or re-skinning the curtain wall to provide substantial energy savings.

FreMarq Innovations Solutions for Local Law 97 Compliance

FreMarq offers a variety of options to retrofit a building into compliance. Our superior Zero•Net™ systems provide maximum energy efficiency with our FortMax™ thermal barrier to block heat and cold from moving between indoor and outdoor environments. Our retrofit options allow you to keep the same glass but add our thermal barrier, or replace the glass as well. You’ll see at least a 50% performance improvement while spending substantially less than other retrofit solutions.

If you are a New York City building owner needing to bring your structure into LL97 compliance, FreMarq Innovations is here to help. From site consultation and inspection to a customized energy review and the installation of our retrofit solutions, we can partner with you from start to finish as you bring your building into compliance. Contact us today to get a jumpstart on planning with our team of experts so you can meet LL97 deadlines and avoid stiff penalties for failure to meet reduced emission limits.

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