The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced best-practice standards aimed at supporting more resilient and energy efficient buildings across the state.
The release of the NYStretch Energy Code – 2020 toolkit will aid municipalities interested in voluntarily adopting higher efficiency standards for new and renovated building construction projects, NYSERDA said. The organization expects the NYStretch code recommendations to provide savings of around 11% over its base 2020 energy/construction codes.
“As New York moves forward in pursuit of Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy goals to combat climate change, we continue identifying new ways to partner with communities in an effort to drive statewide greenhouse gas reductions,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “The release of the 2020 NYStretch and the supporting toolkit creates an opportunity for communities to lead at the local level by adopting higher efficiency standards for buildings that result in carbon emission reductions and cleaner, healthier communities across the state.”
With 30% of the state’s overall emissions coming from on-site fuel combustion in buildings and 15% from electricity generation, NYSEDA said that the toolkit would help to “broaden adoption of energy efficiency measures by increasing awareness of and helping to set minimum energy performance requirements for designing, constructing, and renovating buildings.”
NYStretch was developed with guidance from a 25-member advisory group of public and private stakeholders. It will “accelerate energy cost savings, reduce emissions from buildings, improve resiliency from power disruptions, and lower utility bills for New York consumers,” the agency added.
NYSERDA said it is making available its toolkit to aid municipalities interested in voluntarily adopting and enacting NYStretch as a local requirement. The toolkit includes one-page fact sheets describing NYStretch and its benefits, a step-by-step adoption guide with model resolution language, estimated benefits and costs of meeting NYStretch for the most common new building construction projects, and frequently asked questions with responses.
In addition to the toolkit, NYSERDA will provide direct support to municipalities throughout the adoption and implementation process. The organization said that communities will have access to staff and consultant support so that they understand the projected impacts, and they will also have access to trainings for code officials and building professionals to effectively implement the new code.
NYStretch includes measures such as improved window performance, reduced interior and exterior lighting power and controls, building energy use monitoring, renewable and electric vehicle readiness and mandatory mechanical ventilation for residential buildings. When implemented and enforced effectively, a more efficient energy code requires higher performance levels for homes and commercial buildings, reducing the amount of electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil used, leading to lower energy costs for current and future homeowners and renters and lower operating costs for small and large businesses located within the community, according to NYSERDA.
Richard Yancey, FAIA, executive director for the Building Energy Exchange said, “The Building Energy Exchange (BE-Ex) commends New York State’s leadership in transforming our buildings to be more resilient and part of the climate solution. The new NYStretch energy code promises to help curb harmful emissions from our building sector, and get us another step closer to the state’s ambitious goal of an 85% overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. NYSERDA’s supporting toolkit will help the building community implement higher efficiency standards and adopt industry-leading best practices. BE-Ex looks forward to helping our state’s great building decision-makers meet this critical challenge.”