New York City's Greener, Greater Buildings Plan

In December 2009, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed four legislative components of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP). These laws are setting the pace for commissioning in the heavily inertial world of American building design and construction.

HPAC Engineering's January issue features an article that reviews the impact these laws have had on the commissioning community in New York City, and beyond. The GGBP is part of PlaNYC, an effort undertaken by New York City’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability to prepare the city for 1 million more residents, strengthen the local economy, combat climate change, and enhance quality of life. So far, PlaNYC has built and preserved parks and housing, enhanced mass transit, and made existing buildings more energy-efficient.

According to the article, in the United States, deferred maintenance has become an industry standard. But under Local Law 84, part of the GGBP, water consumption is reported by the city water department. Energy bills are collected and tallied, although local utilities cooperate in providing information on a meter-by-meter basis. Benchmarking is performed using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Portfolio Manager energy-management tool.

The article goes on to explain the details of existing-building-commissioning under the plan and how the labor force is built because of it.