For Immediate Release: July 28, 2021
Contact:, (212) 393-2126


Open Call Announced For Design Professionals to Participate in Five Month Pilot Study of Alternative Compliance Pathways with City’s Energy Conservation Code

New York, NY — Today, the New York City Department of Buildings, in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), announced the launch of a pilot study for new building projects planned in New York City. Participants in the Performance Pilot Project Study will be able to use newly developed online compliance tools to test their building designs in support of development of a future performance-based version of the NYC Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC). These newly developed online compliance tools, which are similar to energy modeling, will allow building owners to better understand how their entire building, and building systems, are performing in terms of energy efficiency. Adopting these performance-based energy code compliance paths for new building projects could ensure that new development in New York City is designed as efficiently as possible, a critical change for achieving the city’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

“As New York continues to lead the nation in the fight against climate change, we’re proud to partner with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to explore how we can streamline the development process while still holding developers to stringent sustainability requirements,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “We look forward to learning from the results of this study and continuing to be a model of sustainability for major US cities.”

Determining compliance with the NYCECC through a performance-based approach has, to date, required design professionals to conduct whole building performance analyses using complicated, costly and time-consuming energy modeling and simulation software. As part of the pilot study, PNNL has developed a new system performance trade-off path.

The study will help determine whether these energy-efficiency analysis tools can simplify the energy-modeling process and be used as a feasible compliance option for more projects going forward. The findings from the study will also inform the Department of Buildings on compliance metrics and metric targets for the development of NYCECC performance-based code in 2025.

See here for more information about the pilot study, including how to participate.

“Decarbonizing our building stock is both our greatest opportunity and our biggest challenge to achieve carbon neutrality in our city, and we must continue to increase our ambitions while allowing for flexibility and innovation as we lead the way towards a future of low- to no-carbon buildings,” said Ben Furnas, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability. “We know that New York’s innovative and creative developer community will be up to this challenge, and we look forward to learning from their participation in this pilot program.”

“The new system performance approach is less resource intensive, compared to traditional whole-building performance modeling, making it an attractive option for smaller or simpler projects with limited budgets,” said Jeremy Williams, Specialist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office. “It also preserves a uniform level of minimum efficiency for all buildings.”

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Program Manager Chris Corcoran said, “Performance based energy codes drive innovation and help design professionals ensure all new buildings meet energy conservation standards while giving residents high-quality, comfortable indoor environments, with cleaner indoor air and lower energy costs. Increasing energy efficiency in buildings coupled with a zero-emissions electric grid are major components of New York State's nation-leading goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050 under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”

“An updated performance-based building energy code for New York City is a crucial next step towards our net zero carbon future. We welcome the new compliance tools that will provide flexibility and support for design teams as they meet increasingly stringent energy targets,” said John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council.

“ACEC New York and the consulting engineering community supports the NYC Department of Buildings in the advancement of this pilot study with PNNL. This effort has the potential to increase the energy performance of buildings of all types by creating compliance paths that can be effectively adapted to new and existing buildings in NYC. We look forward to continuing the industry’s partnership with the DOB, and we will continue to facilitate industry involvement in the study to provide constructive feedback,” said John Evers, President & CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York).

“ASHRAE New York supports the NYC Department of Buildings and their efforts with PNNL to evaluate potentially more cost effective means for building owners to show compliance with energy code.  We look forward to learning more about the pilot program and encourage our members to explore whether volunteering to test the new tools could be a good fit for your projects and sustainability goals,” said Benjamin Rodney, President of the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) New York Chapter.

“Reducing carbon emissions from New York City’s building stock through improvements to the energy code is critical to achieving our collective climate goals. We are committed to working with the Department of Buildings to continue to meet this objective and look forward to reviewing the results of this pilot program.” – Zach Steinberg, Senior Vice President, Real Estate Board of New York