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5

OPERATING ENERGY

5:OPERATING ENERGY

  •  

Along the “path to zero,” reducing the amount of energy required to operate the building and moving to clean energy sources provide environmental benefits, improve conditions for resident health and comfort, and impact property operating expenses.

PATH TO ZERO

MANDATORY BUILDING PERFORMANCE STANDARD

MOVING TO ZERO ENERGY

ZERO ENERGY

MOVING TO

5.4

Zero Energy

5.5a

Electric Ready

 

A project following 5.4

is exceeding 5.2a, 5.2b, 5.3a, and 5.3b, and not eligible

for those points

ZERO CARBON

5.1a OR

New Construction

      • b

        Moderate or Substantial Rehab

      • a OR

Additional reductions in energy use

      • b

        Near Zero Certification

      • a

        PV/Solar Hot Water Ready

        OR 5.3b

        Renewable Energy

        OR 5.5b

        All Electric

        Criteria with an asterisk must also follow Criterion 7.8:

        Dehumidification, if in Climate Zones 1A, 2A, 3A, or 4A

         

NYC Overlay: 

All projects are encouraged to analyze their EUI/GHG projections relative to Local Law 97 of 2019 targets for reference

5.1a

Mandatory for New Construction

Building Performance Standard

RATIONALE

ENERGY STAR homes must meet strict program requirements (at least 10% more efficient than homes built to code and a 20% improvement on average), and they are independently verified to be energy- efficient and durable. These high-performance homes achieve energy savings in heating, cooling, hot water, lighting and appliance efficiencies, which improve resident comfort, reduce operating costs and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing building emissions through energy efficiency strategies that are verified by a third party is the first step on the “path to zero.” Reporting projected operating energy and building emissions intensity frames the building’s performance in quantifiable, comparable, terms.

REQUIREMENTS

Certify all buildings with residential units in the project through the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program using ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction (MFNC), ENERGY STAR Manufactured Homes and/or ENERGY STAR Certified Homes as relevant. The ERI, prescriptive, and ASHRAE paths included in these programs are all acceptable. Use the appropriate specification version of ENERGY STAR given the project construction typology, permit date, and location.

AND

Provide projected operating energy use intensity (EUI) for the project in kBTU/ft2/yr and kBTU/ bedroom/yr, as well as projected operating building emissions intensity for the project in tCO2e/ft2/yr and tCO2e/bedroom/yr. Include results for these figures with and without the project’s production of on-site energy generation. Include the source of these figures for your project (ERI model, ASHRAE model, other). If a more precise figure is not available, use the national database average source energy conversion factors from ASHRAE Standard 105 for converting energy use intensity to emissions intensity. If following the ERI pathway, provide the average, best, and worst per dwelling unit statistics for the project.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Because project teams must engage a qualified individual—a Rater—throughout construction to complete third-party inspections and certify to ENERGY STAR, it’s often useful to clearly identify their role in the project in relation to other project team members. Review the program guidance on partnership, training, qualifications, credentialing, and certification process online for your project’s appropriate version of ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction. Builders, Developers, Raters, ASHRAE Path Modelers, and Functional Testing Agents (FT Agents) have eligibility requirements. We recommend that project teams engage these partners as early in their project design stage as possible. Find a Rater here: www.energystar.gov/partnerlocator. For additional information: www.resnet.us/choose-the-right-contractor
  • During the design phase, work with the Rater and/or ASHRAE Path Modeler to set energy-efficiency goals that comply with the appropriate ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program. After the project team has decided on a compliant energy package, build these measures into the project plans and specs, and work with the Rater and/or FT Agent to create and implement a verification plan throughout construction.

  • The ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Programs allow Raters to use a Verification Oversight Organization (VOO)—approved sampling protocol to assess a group of dwelling units to meet ENERGY STAR guidelines based on pre-analysis of building plans, and subsequent testing and inspections of a sample set of the dwelling units. Where a sampling protocol does not sufficiently describe methodology for multifamily projects, use the RESNET Guidelines for Multifamily Energy Ratings, available at resnet.us/blog/resnet-adopts-guidelines-for-multifamily-energy-ratings/ for projects permitted before July 1, 2020.

RESOURCES

NYC Overlay: 

All projects are encouraged to analyze their EUI/GHG projections relative to Local Law 97 of 2019 targets for reference.

5.1b

Mandatory for Moderate and Substantial Rehabs

Building Performance Standard

Addendum
Date Posted:
May 29, 2020

Substantial or Moderate Rehab properties in Colorado in Climate Zone 5 may choose to use an alternate path instead of mandatory 2020 Criterion 5.1b.  This existing building Colorado alternate energy path is administered by Energy Outreach Colorado ; please refer to the linked requirements. 

To demonstrate compliance with this alternate path for Enterprise Green Communities Certification, at Prebuild project teams will upload a confirmation letter to the Enterprise certification portal from EOC showing that the project has appropriately committed to the Colorado alternate path.  At Postbuild, project teams will upload a confirmation letter to the Enterprise certification portal from EOC confirming that the project successfully complied.

RATIONALE

Dwelling units rehabilitated to a whole-building energy efficiency standard achieve energy savings in heating, cooling, hot water, lighting, and appliance efficiencies, which improve resident comfort, lower operating costs, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing building emissions through energy efficiency strategies that are verified by a third party is the first step on the “path to zero.” Reporting projected operating energy and building emissions intensity frames the building’s performance in quantifiable, comparable terms.

REQUIREMENTS

Projects may choose to follow the ERI or ASHRAE option. Projects may not include on-site power generation to meet the target.

Also provide projected operating EUI for the project in kBTU/ft2/yr and kBTU/bedroom/yr, as well as projected operating building emissions intensity for the project in tCO2e/ft2/yr and tCO2e/bedroom/yr. Include results for these figures with and without the project’s production of on-site energy generation. Include the source of these figures for your project (ERI model, ASHRAE model, other). If a more precise figure is not available, use the national database average source energy conversion factors from ASHRAE Standard 105 for converting energy use intensity to building emissions intensity. If following the ERI pathway, provide the average, best, and worst per dwelling unit statistics for the project.

And, conduct the following :

  • Compartmentalization of dwelling units via air infiltration no greater than 0.30 CMF50 for Substantial Rehab and not greater than 0.40 CFM50 for Moderate Rehab per square feet of dwelling unit enclosure area, following procedures in ANSI/RESNET/ICC Std. 380. Sampling allowed.
  • Any insulation installed as part of the rehab achieves Grade I installation per ANSI/RESNET/IC Std. 301. Or, Grade II cavity insulation is permitted to be used for assemblies that contain a layer of continuous, air impermeable insulation ≥ R-3 in Climate Zones 1 to 4, ≥ R-5 in Climate Zones 5 to 8. And, Grade II batts are permitted to be used in floors if they fill the full width and depth of the floor cavity, even when compression occurs due to excess insulation, as long as the R-value of the batts has been appropriately assessed based on manufacturer guidance and the only defect preventing the insulation from achieving Grade I is the compression caused by the excess insulation.
  • For HVAC systems repaired or installed during rehab, complete testing via the National HVAC Functional Testing Checklist, ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction Version 1.1 (or most recent checklist version available at time of permit).

ERI Option

RESNETS’s HERS Index, based on ANSI RESNET Standard 301-2014, is the only compliant method for this ERI Option at time of publishing this criterion. Energy modeling software used during the design stage to determine an appropriate package of energy efficiency measures and to generate the HERS Index score must be approved by an EPA-approved Verification Oversight Organization (VOO) (e.g., RESNET) or, for projects in California, by the California Energy Commission.

For each dwelling unit in the project, achieve a HERS score of 80 or less. Any method or strategy, except for on-site power generation, may be implemented to satisfy the targeted minimum energy performance.

Exception: Each dwelling unit of the following is eligible to achieve a HERS score of 100 or less rather than 80 or less:

  • Substantial rehabs of buildings built before 1980 with walls made only of brick/masonry
  • Moderate rehabs of buildings built before 1980

ASHRAE Option

Demonstrate that the energy performance of the completed building will be equivalent to, or better than, ASHRAE 90.1-2013 using an energy model created by a qualified energy services provider according to Appendix G 90.1–2016.

Projects in California must use the version of Title 24 under which the project is permitted to calculate the targeted minimum energy performance.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • To succeed with the ERI or ASHRAE Option, engage a Rater and/or ASHRAE Modeler and/or

    FT Agent as early in the project design stage as possible. Their responsibilities will include:

     
    • creating an energy model during the design stage of the project to configure the preferred set of efficiency measures for the project to meet target, with plans and specifications showing the building’s projected energy performance
    • conducting a mid-construction pre-drywall thermal enclosure inspection
    • verifying the final performance of the building with post-construction performance testing, including a blower door and duct blaster test of the home and/or units
  • In order to ensure long-term optimal building performance and to better situate a building for withstanding power outages, prioritize envelope improvements over mechanicals and lighting.

RESOURCES

NYC Overlay: 

Projects are strongly encouraged to comply with this criterion to the maximum extent feasible.  

5.2a

Optional | 5 to 12 points

Moving to Zero Energy: Additional Reductions in Energy Use

Projects located in Climate Zone 1A, 2A, 3A, or 4A following this criterion must also comply with Criterion 7.8.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Projects following a prescriptive path of Criterion 5.1a are not eligible for points from this criterion, as they are not able to demonstrate compliance.

  • Projects acquiring points from Criterion 5.2b or Criterion 5.4 are not eligible for points from this criterion, as they exceed this level of performance.

RATIONALE

Improvements in building energy performance result in utility cost savings from more efficient heating, cooling, hot water, lights, and appliances, which improve residents’ comfort, lower operating costs, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. From a resilience standpoint, a highly energy-conserving building envelope will help to ensure that habitable temperatures will be maintained in the event of extended loss of power or interruptions in heating fuel (passive survivability).

Reducing building emissions through energy efficiency strategies that are verified by a third party and go beyond the level of energy efficiency that is required of the property places a property further along the “path to zero.”

REQUIREMENTS

Design and construct a building that is projected to be more efficient than what is required of the project by Criteria 5.1a or 5.1b. These additional reductions in energy use must be captured by energy conservation measures associated with improved building component systems (HERS and ASHRAE) and not through the addition of on-site power generation:

  • If following ERI path for 5.1a or 5.1b compliance:
    • HERS score at least five lower than required [5 points]

      AND
    • each additional two-point decrease in HERS score [1 point]
  • If following ASHRAE path for 5.1a or 5.1b compliance:
    • 5% greater efficiency than required [5 points]

      AND
    • each additional 1% greater efficiency [1 point]

RESOURCES

DOE’s Building America Solution Center provides access to expert information on hundreds of high- performance construction topics, including research publications, tools, specs, details, webinars, and newsletters on cost-effective, energy-efficient building strategies. https://basc.pnnl.gov/

 

NYC Overlay: 

Projects are encouraged to comply with this criterion.  Projects meeting this criterion are more likely to meet future carbon targets.  Note that financial incentives associated with NYSERDA programs may be available for projects in compliance with this criterion.

5.2b

Optional | 15 points maximum | Mandatory for Enterprise Green Communities Plus

Moving to Zero Energy: Near Zero Certification

Projects located in Climate Zone 1A, 2A, 3A or 4A following this criterion must also comply with Criterion 7.8.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Projects acquiring points through this criterion are not eligible for points from Criterion 5.2a or Criterion 5.4.

  • If a project supplies the supplemental documents required of Criterion 5.2b as part of their Prebuild application and those are approved, additional documentation for Criteria 5.1a and 5.1b is not necessary apart from reporting projected operating CO2e and EUI as described in that criterion.

  • Likewise, at the time of Postbuild submission, proof of certification for the program selected through Criterion 5.2b will suffice for compliance with both Criteria 5.1a and 5.1b and Criterion 5.2b. If the project is unable to demonstrate compliance with Criterion 5.2b at Postbuild, the project will not be eligible for those optional points and the project must demonstrate compliance with Criteria 5.1a or 5.1b in order to be eligible for certification.

RATIONALE

These complementary whole building certification programs emphasize strategies that aggressively reduce whole building energy loads, reducing the need to heat and cool, reducing utility bills, reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing project capacity to sustain habitability during loss of power.

Reducing building emissions through energy efficiency strategies that are as aggressive as possible and verified by a third party comes close to eliminating building emissions associated with the amount of energy a building requires to operate, moving further along the “path to zero.”

REQUIREMENTS

Certify the project in a program that requires advanced levels of building envelope performance, such as DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) and/or Passive House Institute (PHI) Classic or Passive House Institute U.S. (version of PHIUS relevant to the project’s construction type and permit date).

  • DOE ZERH certification [12 points]

  • PHI Classic or PHIUS certification (version relevant to the project’s construction type and permit date) [15 points]

RECOMMENDATIONS

Each of these programs requires a significant commitment to ensure significant levels of project performance. Begin strategizing how to achieve your project goals through dual certification with these programs as early in the integrative design process as possible.

RESOURCES

  • PHIUS. Committed to making high-performance passive building the mainstream market standard. A Passive House is a set of design principles and a quantifiable performance standard applied to any building project, producing radically less energy needs, unparalleled comfort and supreme air quality. www.phius.org/home-page and www.phaus.org

NYC Overlay: 

NYC projects may comply with both 5.3a and 5.3b but are not eligible for points from these and from Criterion 5.4

Projects not installing solar per Criterion 5.3b are strongly encouraged to comply with this optional criterion.

5.3a

Optional | 3-6 points

Moving to Zero Energy: Photovoltaic/Solar Hot Water Ready

ELIGIBILITY

  • Projects that meet DOE ZERH (5.2b) and complete the photovoltaic (PV) Ready Checklist under that program automatically comply with Option 1 of this criterion and are not eligible for points.
  • Projects acquiring points through this criterion are not eligible for points from Criterion 5.3b or 5.4.

RATIONALE

Designing for the future installation of PV or solar hot water systems allows a building owner the flexibility to transition to increased energy generation through renewable energy sources as resources become cost-competitive. Installation of renewable energy systems is a hedge against rising costs for purchased energy and for cleaner energy sources.

Rather than focusing on reducing building emissions associated with how much energy the building requires to operate, this criterion is a preparatory step for reducing emissions associated with the source of energy for the property, a key consideration along the “path to zero.”

REQUIREMENTS

Orient, design, engineer, wire, and/or plumb the development through one of the following options to accommodate installation of a PV or solar hot water system in the future.

Option 1: PV Ready

Submit a complete Department of Energy ZERH PV Ready Checklist.

Option 2: Solar Hot Water Ready

Submit a complete Department of Energy ZERH Solar Hot Water Ready Checklist.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Determine if the placement of the solar equipment impacts the roof warranty.

RESOURCES

NYC Overlay: 

NYC projects may comply with both 5.3a and 5.3b but are not eligible for points from these and from Criterion 5.4.

All HPD-financed projects are REQUIRED to submit an HPD Solar Approval Form and to either install solar to the extent determined by HPD’s Solar Feasibility Analysis and as approved by HPD, install a green roof over 90% of the project’s sustainable roofing zone, or comply with LL92/94.

If the project has a solar array and it offsets less energy consumption that included on the points charts below, 1 point will be granted to the project if at least 90% of the project’s “sustainable roofing zone” includes solar.

 

5.3b

Optional | 8 points maximum

Moving to Zero Energy: Renewable Energy

ELIGIBILITY

Projects acquiring points through this criterion are not eligible for points from Criterion 5.3a or 5.4.

RATIONALE

Renewable energy reduces environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with energy sourced and produced from fossil fuels. Use of renewable energy technologies can also result in energy cost savings.

Rather than focusing on reducing building emissions associated with how much energy the building requires to operate, this criterion reduces building emissions associated with the source of energy for the property, a key strategy along the “path to zero.”

REQUIREMENTS

PV panels or other electric-generating renewable energy source to provide a specified percentage of the project’s estimated source energy demand. The renewable energy may be owned and produced on-site or off-site if the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) are retained or retired by the building owner. Or, the renewable energy may be procured through a contract of at least 20 years from community solar, virtual power purchase agreements or Green-E certified renewable energy certificates.

When calculating points for Criterion 5.3b, evaluate the percentage of either your project’s total energy demand that is satisfied by a renewable energy source or the percentage of your project’s common load energy demand that is satisfied by a renewable energy source. Refer to the table below for the point structure.

Option 1

PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL PROJECT ENERGY CONSUMPTION PROVIDED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY

 

10%

25%

40%

55%

70%

Single-story/single-family

4 points

6 points

8 points

2–3 stories

4 points

6 points

8 points

4 stories or more multifamily

4 points

6 points

8 points

OR

Option 2

PERCENTAGE OF COMMON AREA METER ENERGY CONSUMPTION PROVIDED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY

 

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Any multifamily project

1 point

2 points

3 points

4 points

5 points

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • To provide a higher percentage of the project’s estimated annual energy consumption with electric- generating renewable energy sources, focus on reducing the building’s overall energy consumption in Criteria 5.1 and 5.2 with energy-efficiency measures, which are generally more cost-effective and longer lasting than renewables.
  • Early on, consider how to establish an active asset management and/or operations plan for monitoring the solar systems. Otherwise, it is all too common to not be able to tell when these systems are not working.

  • Consider installing solar water heating systems for stand-alone laundry facilities in multifamily projects.

  • Evaluate and review your maintenance contract to ensure that it includes all renewable systems and appropriate reviews and protocols for their maintenance, as well as the associated implications of roof-mounted systems.

  • Refer to DOE’s “A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings” for guidance on accounting for energy produced and consumed, but note the allowances in this criterion’s requirement for certain additional permissible means of procurement.

RESOURCES

  • Department of Energy, A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings. Defines Zero Energy Buildings and includes guidance on on-site renewable energy production parameters. www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/09/f26/bto_common_definition_zero_e...

  • American Solar Energy Society (ASES). A nonprofit organization committed to a sustainable energy economy, ASES accelerates the development and use of solar and other renewable energy resources through advocacy, education, research and collaboration among professionals, policymakers and the public. www.ases.org

  • Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). This is a resource for basic information on types of photovoltaic solar electric systems, sizing, installation and system ratings. FSEC also has an industry resources page that includes its Photovoltaic System Design Course Manual, available at www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/education/cont_ed/manuals/index.htm

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Photovoltaic research at NREL provides a clearinghouse on all aspects of photovoltaic solar cell systems. www.nrel.gov

  • U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. This website provides information on renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency. www.eere.energy.gov

  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Operated by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University, with support from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., DSIRE is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. www.dsireusa.org

NYC Overlay: 

Financial incentives associated with NYSERDA programs may be available for projects in compliance with this criterion.

5.4

Optional | 24 points | Automatic Qualification for Enterprise Green Communities Plus

Achieving Zero Energy

Projects located in Climate Zones 1A, 2A, 3A, or 4A following this criterion must also comply with Criterion 7.8.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Projects acquiring points from this criterion are not eligible for points from Criteria 5.2a, 5.2b, 5.3a, or 5.3b.

  • If a project supplies the supplemental documents required of Criterion 5.4 as part of their Prebuild application and those are approved, additional documentation for Criterion 5.1 is not necessary apart from reporting projected operating carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and energy use intensity (EUI) as required by Criteria 5.1a and 5.1b.

  • Likewise, at the time of Postbuild submission, proof of certification for the program selected through Criterion 5.4 will suffice for compliance with both Criteria 5.1a and 5.1b and the building certification component of Criterion 5.4. If the project is unable to demonstrate compliance with Criterion 5.4 at Postbuild, the project will not be eligible for those optional points and the project must demonstrate compliance with Criteria 5.1a or 5.1b in order to be eligible for Enterprise Green Communities certification.

RATIONALE

There are three essential strategies on the “path to zero,” the path toward reducing emissions associated with a building: reducing a building’s operating energy through energy efficiency practices, reducing a building’s emissions through the type of energy source that fuels that operating energy, and reducing a building’s emissions embodied in the materials that are used to construct the property. Criteria 5.1 and 5.2 address reducing operating energy needs, and Criteria 5.3 and 5.5 address reducing emissions through the property’s power sources. This criterion, 5.4, combines the two concepts, directing projects toward Zero Energy of operations.

Aggressive levels of energy efficiency coupled with renewable energy production, and/or purchase of renewable energy certificates, at levels equal to or greater than a project’s annual energy needs results in a Zero Energy Building or Renewable Energy Certificate Zero Energy Building (see “A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings,” in Resources). This strategy reduces nonrenewable energy usage, utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

REQUIREMENTS

Achieve Zero Energy performance for the project through one of the following options.

Option 1

Certify each building in the project to DOE ZERH program (refer to Criterion 5.2b).

AND

Either install renewables and/or procure renewable energy, which in sum will produce as much, or more, energy in a given year than the project is modeled to consume. The renewable energy may be owned and produced on-site or off-site if the associated RECs are retained or retired by the building owner. Or, the renewable energy may be procured through a contract of at least 20 years from community solar, virtual power purchase agreements or Green-E certified renewable energy certificates.

Option 2

Certify each building in the project in a program that requires Zero Energy performance such as PHIUS+ Source Zero, PHI Plus, PHI Premium, International Living Future Institute’s Zero Energy Petal, Zero Carbon Petal, or Living Building Certification.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Consider coupling this criterion with Criterion 5.5a or 5.5b to move toward not only off-setting, but removing, combustion fuels from the property and further reducing associated emissions with the building’s operations.
  • Consider coupling this criterion with Criterion 6.5 and fully consider the implications of a zero emissions building from both the operations and the materials perspective—fully embracing the “path to zero.”

  • Each of this criterion’s options requires a significant commitment to ensure significant levels of project performance. Begin strategizing how to achieve your project goals through dual certification with these programs as early in the integrative design process as possible.

  • Refer to DOE’s A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings for guidance on accounting for energy produced and consumed, but note the allowances in this criterion’s requirement for certain additional permissible means of procurement.

  • Multifamily buildings and/or properties in urban locations may not have enough space for installation of enough on-site renewables to offset the property’s energy consumption. In that scenario, consider purchasing renewable energy certificates to achieve Renewable Energy Certificate Zero Energy designation.

RESOURCES

  • Department of Energy, A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings. Defines Zero Energy Buildings and includes guidance on on-site renewable energy production parameters. www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/09/f26/bto_common_definition_zero_e...

  • Department of Energy, Zero Energy Ready Home. A program that builds upon ENERGY STAR for Homes, along with proven Building America innovations and best practices. These homes are third- party verified. http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/guidelines-participating-doe-zero-energ...

  • Passive House Institute. An international standard for buildings with minimum energy consumption. https://passivehouse.com/

  • PHIUS. Committed to making high-performance passive building the mainstream market standard. The PHIUS+ standard has been cost-optimized by climate. PHIUS+ combines a thorough passive house design protocol with a stringent Quality Assurance and Quality Control program. www.phius.org/home-page and www.phaus.org

  • Living Building Challenge Net Zero Energy Building Certification. This program is operated by the International Living Future Institute, using the structure of the Living Building Challenge. Net Zero Energy Building Certification verifies that the building is truly operating as claimed, provides a platform for the building to inform other efforts throughout the world and accelerate the implementation of restorative principles, and celebrates a significant accomplishment and differentiates those responsible for the building’s success in this quickly evolving market. http://living-future.org/netzero

5.5a

Optional | 5 points maximum

Moving to Zero Carbon: All-Electric Ready

ELIGIBILITY

Projects acquiring points through this criterion are not eligible for points from Criterion 5.5b.

RATIONALE

A crucial part of reducing a property’s carbon emissions is considering the emissions associated with the fuels that are used to power a home. Building an all-electric-ready property is a first step. Even if installing renewables is not feasible, the electric grid for a given property is not yet clean, and/or the price of operating an all-electric building in a given region is not yet cost-competitive, building an all- electric-ready property is a cost-effective means of preparing for future electrification.

REQUIREMENTS

A project is eligible for points when, although it is using a combustion fuel source, the building has adequate electric service and has been designed and wired to allow for a seamless switch to electricity as a fuel source for the following uses throughout the project. [1 point per use]:

  • space heating

  • space cooling

  • water heating

  • clothes dryers

  • equipment for cooking (including, but not limited to, ranges, cooktops, stoves, ovens)

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Utilize electricity for as many of the components listed above as possible; make the others electric- ready. From an emissions perspective, prioritize electrifying components that otherwise would use propane or heating oil. From a cost perspective, evaluate rates for various fuel sources and uses in your property. From a resident health perspective, prioritize electric equipment for cooking.

  • Factor in the cost of potentially needing to upgrade electric service to the property against the cost of gas piping. Connect with your electric utility service provider to evaluate whether or not additional feeder lines and/or electrical panels are necessary.

  • Consider installing heat pumps, of which effective cold climate models are available, to provide air conditioning as well as space heating. Heat pump water heaters and dryers are available; consider what electric technologies are appropriate for your property.

RESOURCES

NYC Overlay: 

Projects may earn 15 points through the full criterion as written below.

Or, projects may earn 6 points for limiting combustion equipment solely to domestic hot water heating.  Combustion-fueled emergency backup power sources are allowed.

Compliance with this criterion may aid in your project’s compliance with future carbon targets.

5.5b

Optional | 15 points

Moving to Zero Carbon: All Electric

ELIGIBILITY

Projects acquiring points through this criterion are not eligible for points from Criterion 5.5a.

RATIONALE

An all-electric property’s source operating emissions will be no worse than the emissions associated with the electric grid that provides power to the property. As grid sources of energy become cleaner, so will the emissions profile of the property. Removing combustion fuels from the property itself eliminates emissions associated with nonrenewable energy sources even if generating renewable power is not feasible on-site. And all-electric buildings allow for future grid flexibility, enabling a property to potentially take advantage of favorable rate structures.

Also consider the health implications. The process of combustion releases byproducts to which residents and staff may be exposed, and natural gas cooking burners have been shown to emit substantial quantities of pollutants. Eliminating combustion equipment from a building project eliminates the possibility of negative resident and staff health impacts due to exposure to combustion byproducts.

REQUIREMENTS

Apart from emergency backup power, no combustion equipment used as part of the building project; the project is all-electric.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Factor in the cost of potentially needing to upgrade electric service to the property against the potential savings from avoiding gas piping. Connect with your electric utility service provider to evaluate whether or not additional feeder lines and/or electrical panels are necessary.

  • Consider installing heat pumps, of which effective cold climate models are available, to provide air conditioning as well as space heating. Heat pump water heaters and dryers are available; consider what electric technologies are appropriate for your property.

RESOURCES

5.6

Mandatory for all Rehabs that include replacement of heating and cooling equipment

Sizing of Heating and Cooling Equipment

ELIGIBILITY

Note that projects in compliance with Criterion 5.1a, Criterion 5.2b and/or Criterion 5.4 are exempt from this Criterion, given the requirements of the certification programs embedded therein.

RATIONALE

Appropriately sized equipment can save money, contribute to dehumidification, and prevent short- cycling that can lead to premature motor default.

REQUIREMENTS

Size and select heating and cooling equipment in accordance with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manuals J and S or in accordance with the most recent ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals available at time of specification.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • As buildings become more energy efficient and loads decrease, proper sizing and thoughtful approaches to year-round moisture control become more critical in all climate zones. Given projected changes in annual extreme heat days, properties in all climate zones have more reason to install air conditioning to ensure that residents are safe.

  • Consider installing high-efficiency air filters or the capacity to accommodate them, per EPA guidance of Residential Air Filters.

  • There are two types of loads to manage in a building: sensible and latent. Sensible capacity is the capacity to lower temperature, and latent capacity is the capacity to remove moisture from the air. Total capacity is sensible + latent. When sizing heating and cooling systems, we recommend sizing to the sensible load. If, in that scenario, the design shows that latent load will not be met by the equipment, install a dehumidifier to handle the latent load rather than sizing the air conditioner up. Sizing the air conditioner for the latent load will result in an oversized system that will have little latent control. Refer to Criterion 7.8 for further guidance.

  • The HVAC designer generates a Manual J load calculation to determine heating and cooling loads of a particular project. A room-by-room Manual J is recommended, in order to properly determine airflows best suited for the space’s associated heating and cooling loads. A Manual S is used to determine which space heating and cooling equipment best match the load of the project calculated per Manual J. The Manual J accounts for factors such as the dwelling unit’s solar orientation, window design and insulation R-value, installation quality, building air leakage, and internal loads. Consult www.acca.org/standards/software for a list of software programs reviewed by ACCA to perform Manual J calculations.
  • Manual D describes how to design a residential duct system. Given the amount of air that Manual J dictates is needed for a particular space, the HVAC designer uses Manual D to determine how to design the duct system to achieve that flow rate.

  • Manual LLH (Low Load Homes) is one of the newest ACCA manuals. LLH uses Manuals J, S, D, T, and others as a baseline and identifies equipment options and approaches to address low cooling and/or heating loads.

  • Consider locating heating and cooling equipment and the distribution system within the building envelope to reduce thermal distribution losses—this is essential to achieving higher levels of property energy efficiency. Do not locate air handler or ductwork within the garage space (see Criterion 7.3 for more information).

RESOURCES

  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Manual J: Residential Load Calculation; Manual S: Residential Equipment Selection; Manual D: Residential Duct Design; Manual LLH: Low Load Homes. www.acca.org/standards/

  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America, HVAC Quality Installation Specification: Residential and Commercial Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Applications. The site also includes links to various articles and other ANSI and ACCA standards. www.acca.org/standards/quality

  • California Energy Commission, Procedures for HVAC System Design and Installation: This site provides an overview of good practices for designing and installing the HVAC system, as well as detailed strategies and measures for the “house as a system” approach to construction. https://ww2.energy.ca.gov/title24/orc/hvac/2016_hvac.html

  • For additional information on duct sealing details. www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_ducts

5.7

Mandatory for New Construction and all Rehabs providing appliances

ENERGY STAR Appliances

ELIGIBILITY

Note that projects in compliance with Criterion 5.1a, Criterion 5.2b, and/or Criterion 5.4 are exempt from this Criterion, given the requirements of the certification programs embedded therein.

RATIONALE

ENERGY STAR products meet strict energy-efficiency criteria set by EPA. These products reduce utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

REQUIREMENTS

If providing appliances, install ENERGY STAR clothes washers, dishwashers, and refrigerators.

If appliances will not be installed or replaced at this time, specify that, at the time of installation or replacement, ENERGY STAR models must be used via Criterion 8.1 and Criterion 8.4.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Note that this requirement may impact vendor selection if a property is leasing clothes washing equipment.

RESOURCES

When preparing project specifications, find ENERGY STAR product information, including model numbers and savings calculators. www.energystar.gov/products/certified-products

5.8

Mandatory for New Construction and Substantial Rehab projects and new lighting in Moderate Rehab projects

Lighting

RATIONALE

Energy reductions through efficient lighting products contribute to lower utility costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions. LED lights are an energy-efficient alternative to standard incandescent and T-12 fluorescent lighting. ENERGY STAR LED lamps have now been available for a decade and exist for most intended use cases. Automatic lighting controls can significantly reduce lighting energy use. Battery backup in emergency lighting features allows for ease of egress during power blackouts.

REQUIREMENTS

For all permanently installed lighting fixtures, interior and exterior, install high-efficiency lighting that is capable of meeting recommended light levels (weighted average footcandle) in the Illuminating Engineering Society Lighting Handbook, 10th edition.

Also, comply with all of the below:

  • Recessed light fixtures installed as part of a building or dwelling unit air barrier shall be Insulation Contact Air-Tight (ICAT); exempt if installed entirely inside of or outside of an air barrier.

  • Lighting inside the building, but not in a dwelling unit, shall be controlled by occupancy sensors or automatic bi-level lighting controls; exempt if 24-hour consistent light levels are required by code.

  • Lighting power density in dwelling units, measured in watts/square foot, is 1.1 or less.

  • All exterior lighting shall meet the following specifications and have either motion sensor controls, integrative PV cells, photosensors, or astronomic time-clock operation to limit lighting when there is adequate daylight. Note, Dark Sky–approved “Friendly Fixture” certification automatically meets the following specifications.

    • Luminaires shall be fully shielded emitting no light above 90 degrees (with the exclusion of incidental light reflecting from fixture housing, mounts, and pole). The luminaire’s mounting hardware shall not permit mounting in any configuration other than those maintaining full shielding. Non-residential luminaires shall have an uplight rating of U0.
    • Fixture shall have no sag or drop lenses, side light panels or uplight panels.
    • Fixture shall employ warm-toned (3000K and lower) white light sources or may employ amber light sources or filtered LED light sources.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Consider incorporating daylighting practices throughout your project. Include controlled admission of natural light as well as a daylight-responsive lighting control system.
  • Review ENERGY STAR product and design information regarding fixture and bulb selection and design.

  • Incorporate stairwell skylights as a multi-purpose design feature, providing light, egress, and ventilation.

  • Install occupancy sensors in closets and rooms that will be occupied only intermittently. If installed in restrooms, position occupancy sensors to recognize the presence of someone in a toilet stall.

  • Ensure that stairway lighting is consistent with or better than building corridor lighting to encourage use.

  • Design outdoor lighting to eliminate light trespass from the project site and to minimize impact on nocturnal environments.

  • Consider outdoor lighting levels that are appropriate to the context of the project. For instance, urban areas have existing exterior lighting, so the contribution of artificial light from housing may have less impact on the light levels and ecosystems in the area compared to those within rural areas. Presence of local animal species with certain sensitivities to light may also impact appropriate light levels. For instance, areas in Florida that are home to at-risk sea turtle populations should light in accordance with specific wildlife lighting recommendations and include lamps of warmer colors and longer wavelengths so as to limit disruption of mating and migratory patterns for the turtles. Florida has standards in general for wildlife certified lighting. https://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/lighting/criteria/

RESOURCES

  • ENERGY STAR. For more information on lighting design and buying guidance: www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=manuf_res.pt_lighting

  • The Lighting Research Center. This university-based, independent lighting research and education group provides objective and timely information about lighting technologies and applications, and about human response to light. www.lrc.rpi.edu

  • Whole Building Design Guide, Daylighting. www.wbdg.org/resources/daylighting.php

  • Illuminating Engineering Society of North America’s Recommended Practice Manual. Lighting for Exterior Environments includes lighting design guidelines.

  • International Dark-Sky Association. A recognized authority on light pollution, information on Dark-Sky–approved fixtures can be found online at www.darksky.org/outdoorlighting

  • Lamp Recycle lists locations where fluorescent lamps and ballasts may be taken for recycling. www.lamprecycle.org

NYC Overlay: 

All NYC projects located within the FEMA 100-year flood zone are already required to comply with NYC Building Code Appendix G: Flood-Resistant Construction.  Points can be achieved through this optional criterion for all projects within current and future flood zones by going above and beyond building code to mitigate future flood risk. 

To determine if Appendix G is applicable, please refer to the NYC Building Code.  See Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines (CRDG) for guidance on how to identify future flood risk and to calculate the appropriate sea-level-rise-adjusted Design Flood Elevation (DFE).

For projects in the current flood zone:

Comply with Appendix G, but use the sea-level-rise-adjusted design flood elevation DFE based on the project’s useful life and as defined in the CRDG.  This means locating all residential uses, mechanicals, and services critical to building function above the sea-level-rise-adjusted DFE. (8 points)

OR

Comply with Appendix G, and also locate mechanicals, services critical to building function, and at least one point of egress above the sea-level-rise-adjusted DFE based on the project’s useful life and as defined in the CRDG. (6 points)

OR

Provide additional flood mitigation features on the site including deployable flood barriers (e.g. stop logs, flood doors/gates, inflatable barriers) or natural systems-based approaches (e.g. living shorelines, restored wetlands, landscape berms) (4 points)

For projects in future flood zones, based on the project’s useful life and as defined by the CRDG:

Locate residential uses, mechanicals, services critical to building function, and at least one point of egress above the sea-level-rise-adjusted DFE based on the project’s useful life and as defined in the CRDG. (8 points)

OR

Locate mechanicals, services critical to building function, and at least one point of egress above the sea-level-rise-adjusted DFE, based on the project’s useful life and as defined in the CRDG. (6 points)

OR

Provide additional flood mitigation features on the site, including deployable flood barriers (e.g. stop logs, flood doors/gates, inflatable barriers) or natural systems-based approaches (e.g. living shorelines, restored wetlands, landscape berms) (4 points)

OR

Substantial or Moderate Rehabs only: Install backflow prevents/backwater valves or encapsulate mechanical equipment in place. (2 points)

5.9

Optional | 8 points

Optional | 5 points max

Resilient Energy Systems: Floodproofing

ELIGIBILITY

Rehab projects located in Special Flood Hazard Areas designed by FEMA are required through Criterion 2.1 to adhere with ASCE 24, which exceeds the below criteria. Those projects are not eligible for these optional points.

RATIONALE

When raising services, equipment, and building portions above design flood level is not possible, dry floodproof such services and spaces to better ensure building service in the case of a major flood event. The first and lower floors of buildings are often at risk because they are below flood level. Any essential building equipment should be located elsewhere if flooding is a risk. Submersion of electrical utility services to the first point of switch disconnect is a safety concern and can lead to excessive or irreparable damage to both utility and building systems and increase the recovery time for such systems.

REQUIREMENTS

Conduct floodproofing, including perimeter floodproofing (barriers /shields), of lower floors.

Design and install building systems in such a way that, in the case of an emergency, the operation of these systems will not be grossly affected:

  • Locate any and all central space and water heater equipment above design flood elevations.

  • Locate the service disconnect at a readily accessible location above the design flood elevation.

  • Locate at least one exit door above the design flood elevation.

  • On plan sets, identify water entry points at basements and foundation walls and demarcate all penetrations, wall assemblies, and doors/openings to ensure that future renovations do not compromise the integrity of floodproof construction.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Project teams should, in accordance with Criterion 1.1, identify whether or not floods are of concern for the project in question. Consider likelihood of flooding both from sea level rise and from

    storm events.

  • Project teams will need to identify suitable space, with accessible entry, for locating this equipment above design flood elevation.

  • See ASCE 24-05 Flood Resistant Design and Construction for further guidance regarding design and placement of building services.

RESOURCES

NYC Overlay: 

Projects, particularly those servicing vulnerable populations, are encouraged to comply with this criterion. Projects may receive 4 points if, for at least one community room in the property that is easily accessed by residents, they provide emergency backup power for cooling, heating, internet access, refrigeration for medicines, charging stations, and minimum electric loads for lighting.  Projects may receive 8 points if they comply with the full criterion as written, including preparing to serve critical loads in the project’s community rooms, if the project has such a facility.

5.10

Optional | 8 points

Optional | 4-8 points

Resilient Energy Systems: Critical Loads

RATIONALE

With more intense storms, flooding, wildfires, and heat waves forecast with climate change, the frequency and duration of power outages may increase. So-called “islandable” electrical systems offer a significant level of resilience in such situations for supplying power to critical building systems when the grid is not able to provide power.

REQUIREMENTS

Provide adequate emergency power to serve certain systems in the project. Size the system to satisfy at least three of the most critical following energy loads of the project for at least four consecutive days, 24 hours per day. Consider a larger system if needed to satisfy extended power outages and/or to hold all occupants and staff on an emergency basis for a power outage during extreme heat or cold.

Critical energy loads:

  • Operation of electrical components of fuel‐fired heating systems

  • Operation of a fan sufficient to provide emergency cooling if mechanical air conditioning equipment cannot operate

  • Operation of water pumps if needed to make potable water available to occupants

  • Lighting level a minimum of 3 footcandles in all building spaces to define a path of egress to all required exits and to a distance of 10 feet on the exterior

  • One location for every 500 square feet that provides a minimum of 30 footcandles measured 30 inches above the floor

  • At least one functioning electrical receptacle per 250 square feet of occupied space

  • Sufficient power for operation of critical medical equipment for residents

  • Operation of cable modem and wireless router or other means of providing online access within the building, if applicable

  • Operation of one elevator in building, if applicable

Option 1

Islandable PV system with battery storage and a system to switch to battery backup when the electric grid goes down.

OR

Option 2

Efficient generator that will offer reliable electricity for critical circuits during power outages.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Prioritize which electrical equipment will run on backup power so buildings can remain habitable during extended blackouts. Because cogeneration and solar power systems are always in use, they can be more reliable than generators that are turned on only during emergencies. In substantial rehab projects where the installation of a PV system is not feasible, a generator may be used as a backup power source.

  • Prioritize emergency systems such as egress lighting, extended life safety systems (fire alarms), water, parking egress, improved habitability for mobility-impaired occupants (elevator car operation), small critical heating and cooling loads, and convenience power for building occupants (charging stations).

  • A bi-modal solar system that can both feed power into the electric grid (net-metering) and shunt power to and from a battery bank offers great flexibility and resilience (including power at night during power outages).

  • Where a permanent connection is being made for a portable generator, a disconnecting means and overcurrent protection should be provided at the point of connection. For a temporary generator hookup, the project should provide easy access to an electrical connection point. Connections shall be administered by qualified people who maintain and supervise the installation.

  • If utilizing a gas-fired generator, consider the need to store an adequate amount of fuel.

RESOURCES

  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). The DOE and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center developed this database to collect information on state financial and regulatory incentives (e.g., tax credits, grants, and special utility rates) designed to promote the application of renewable energy technologies. DSIRE also offers additional features, such as preparing and printing reports that detail the incentives on a state-by-state basis. www.dsireusa.org

 

 

“It’s my feeling that you give somebody a good place to live … it will just change their lives forever.”
Resident of Enterprise Green Communities property

INTRODUCTION

CRITERIA CHECKLIST

      • INTEGRATIVE DESIGN

      • LOCATION +

        NEIGHBORHOOD FABRIC

      • SITE IMPROVEMENT

      • WATER

      • OPERATING ENERGY

      • MATERIALS

      • HEALTHY LIVING ENVIRONMENT

      • OPERATIONS,

        MAINTENANCE +

        RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT APPENDICES

        GLOSSARY