Green Buildings FAQs - General

Q: What is Local Law 86 of 2005 (LL86)?

A: LL86 is a NYC municipal law that was enacted on October 3, 2005 and took effect on January 1, 2007. It requires many capital projects, public and private, that utilize city funds be designed and built to satisfy provisions related to the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building rating systems developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It also includes additional energy cost reduction provisions for many such LEED® projects and for certain types of HVAC and lighting system upgrades. In addition, it includes requirements for the reduction of potable water use.

Q: What is a LEED® rating?

A: In 1998, the U.S. Green Building Council launched its first version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building rating system. This was followed by the launch of the version 2 systems that were referenced in the original text of LL86. In 2009, an updated version of the LEED® rating systems, known as LEED® 2009 version 3, was launched by the USGBC and adopted through an amendment to the LL86 Rules. The systems consist of a number of credits for a range of strategies that contribute to reducing the negative environmental impact of a project both during and after construction. Green building strategies that are awarded points under each of the systems include those related to sustainable site design, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and resource conservation, and indoor environmental quality. Since the potential opportunities for reducing the negative environmental impacts of building construction vary considerably by project type, the USGBC has developed several different rating systems. Examples include systems for new buildings and major renovations, tenant fit-outs, schools, as well as for residential work. Four levels, Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, may be awarded by the USGBC depending upon the number of points achieved. More information on getting started with LEED® and the details of the points and credits associated with the various rating systems may be viewed at the U.S. Green Building Council.

Q: Who is charged with overseeing the implementation of LL86?

A: Executive Order 149 of 2011 charges the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination (MOEC) with the “exercise of the powers and duties granted to the Mayor in connection with the implementation of the law.” Examples of such powers and duties include the promulgation of rules, the administration of exemption requests, monitoring agency compliance, and the preparation of annual reports.

Q: Who is responsible for implementing LL86?

A: Design professionals, construction managers, and contractors as well as city agencies, including managing agencies, i.e. agencies that directly manage design and construction or that manage funding or lease agreements for projects constructed by non-city entities, and budgeting agencies, i.e. the client agency that initially budgets the funds for a project, should determine which projects in their portfolios are subject to LL86. Managing agencies play a central role in implementation by providing the necessary language in the affected agreements and contracts, by ensuring that all related contractual requirements are met, and by collecting the data needed for reporting to the Mayor’s Office at the end of each fiscal year. In addition to determining which projects are subject to the law, design professionals, construction managers, and contractors also must ensure the design and construction of a covered project meets the detailed provisions of the law.

Q: Where can I see a list of LL86 projects and the related costs and benefits?

A: Each year the Mayor’s Office publishes a report that lists all projects subject to one or more LL86 requirements. In these annual reports, construction costs, anticipated year of completion, and floor area are indicated. In addition, the benefits related to energy and water use reduction are quantified for many that have completed design. These reports may be viewed at Reports and Manuals.