The 2016 NYCECC Passes & Complete NYCECC Submissions

By Brian Redlein

On July 14th the new 2016 New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) passed City Council and we are now confirmed that our new local energy code will go into effect on October 3rd of this year.  To reiterate, the 2016 NYCECC will be based on the IECC 2015 and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013.

Architects and Engineers have until end-of-business on October 2nd to file complete drawings with a complete energy code analysis to avoid the new code.  Incomplete submissions are subject to retroactive application of the new code regardless of filing date.  So perhaps now is a good time to reiterate what a complete energy code submission looks like.

A complete submission is based on your scope-of-work so storefront replacement will have much less analysis put into it than say, a shiny new building.  To keep things simple a complete energy code analysis on a New Building should really comprise of one of the following:

I. A comcheck based analysis with complete comcheck reports for the following:

  1. Envelope
  2. Lighting Interior
  3. Lighting Exterior (there’s always at least some at exit discharges)
  4. Mechanical


II.  An energy model (these are usually required for glass curtain wall buildings) filled out on the latest EN-1 form mounted directly to your EN- series sheets.  Energy models are usually performed in DOE-2 or BLAST based software programs such as eQUEST.  DOB will accept Trane TRACE but that software can be clunky and is not really advised.

Tabular analysis is the third choice of analysis but on a new building tabular analysis is not advised.  An energy code tabular analysis looks a lot like a zoning analysis, but on a new building there are more provisions of the energy code that need complied with than there are provisions governing a project in the zoning resolutions!  Proper tabular analyses take a lot longer to put together than a comcheck and are nowhere near as flexible.  Some of my architects and engineers have done tabulars on building additions and it can take many hours over a simple comcheck to complete.

So besides a complete analysis you’ll also need complete plans.  These will include at minimum:

  1. PROFESSIONAL STATEMENTS in the correct format!  It’s amazing how a little thing like this holds up so many architects and engineers.  Your pro statement can be ripped verbatim from Section 10 of the PW-1 form.  The only modification you need to make to it is add 2014 after NYCECC and if you’ve designed your building under ASHRAE rules you simply add 2014 VIA APPLCIATION OF ASHRAE 90.1-2010 AS MODIFIED BY APPENDIX A to the end.
  2. Elevation diagrams showing wall areas and fenestration areas
  3. Exterior wall details and U value calculations (remember most Us & Rs can be found in ASHRAE Appendix A unless given by a manufacturer)
  4. Window schedules with Us and SHGCs indicated (backing these up with an actual spec or THERM analysis will get you approved way faster)
  5. Provisions for air sealing, such as notes and details showing seams are properly sealed
  6. Complete lighting plans.  “Tenant fit-out” areas that aren’t in your work scope must still indicate their max allowed wattage based on allowed watts-per-square-foot multiplied by area.
  7. Complete lighting control narrative, describing occupant sensors, daylighting sensors, etc
  8. Exit signage spec or note – no more than 5 watts per face of sign
  9. Mechanical schedules with SEERs, EERs, COPs, EFs, etc. indicated.  It’s not good enough to just plug this info into comcheck, it must be backed up on your schedules.
  10. Exterior dampers at the top of shaft enclosures – these must be clearly indicated on the mechanical plans.  These must actually be completely closed on seasonal timers that can be opened upon activation of a smoke detector at the top of the shaft enclosure and/or the building’s Fire Alarm system.  I could write a whole extra newsletter on how the building code and energy code step on each other’s toes here but I’ll leave it there for now.
  11. A mechanical control narrative, describing how the HVAC systems are controlled (setbacks, occupant sensors, timer modes, etc.)
  12. Pipe insulation notes/tables for refrigerant pipes and duct insulation notes for supply air ducts passing through unconditioned or semi-conditioned spaces.
  13. Pipe insulation notes/tables for hot water pipes (domestic service water and hotwater heating systems)
  14. Domestic water heater schedule with efficiency information.
  15. A complete list of TR8 Energy Code Progress Inspections, preferably in RCNY 5000 tabular format (the RCNY 5000 is the “kernel” of the NYCECC – the statutory text around which the rest of the NYCECC is built upon).

Now you might want to stop reading and get to drawing.