All new construction projects seeking HCR financing resources through tax-exempt bond and subsidy applications administered through HFA are required to adhere to the standards established by the Climate Bond Initiative (CBI). The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star programs serve as a proxy to meet the CBI low carbon performance criteria. Complying with these standards will enable projects to have their bonds certified as Climate Bond or Green Bonds. Projects must comply with Energy Star Programs as defined below.
ENERGY STAR Programs
- EPA Multifamily High Rise Program - Projects must choose either the prescriptive path or the performance path to achieve a performance target of a minimum of 15% over ASHRAE 90.1-2010. Please be advised that projects may be required to achieve a performance target of 15% over ASHRAE 90.1-2013, based on the building code in effect at the time of the project’s bond financing closing. Compliance with the most current version available when a project closes on the bond financing is encouraged.
The application must include an executed contract between the applicant and an energy consultant to monitor the design and construction as necessary to meet the program requirements. The contract must explain the methodology to be utilized to ensure that the applicable standard will be met, including all testing and verification necessary to confirm the future performance.
- EPA ENERGY STAR Certified Homes - Projects must utilize Energy Star Certified Homes Version 3.1, or current program based on the current building code in effect at the time of project’s bond financing closing. To meet the standards of CBI, projects must perform 8% more efficiently than Version 3.1 of Energy Star Certified Homes.
The application must include an executed contract between the applicant and a RESNET certified HERS rater which explains the methodology to be utilized to ensure compliance with the applicable standard. In lieu of an executed contract, HCR will accept a HERS-based plan review completed by a qualified HERS rater to affirm the project design will meet the high efficiency guidelines of the applicable standard.
In their contract, the energy consultant must explicitly confirm that the Energy Star standard will met the CBI low carbon criteria for certification as CBI green bonds or ‘climate bonds’. In addition, new construction projects must also select one or both of the following two programs. Since the Energy Star protocol is also used for their energy assessment, these programs can be coordinated to satisfy the CBI requirement, as well as to achieve additional sustainability measures:
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Incentive Programs
- NYSERDA Low-Rise Residential New Construction Program (LRNCP):
Projects may participate in LRNCP and commit to meet the relevant version of this program. Projects are encouraged to achieve the highest level of energy efficiency and building performance supported through LRNCP. Please be advised that the level of performance achieved may substantially affect the incentives available from NYSERDA and that any changes in building or energy codes may affect the program version applicable to a project.
The application must include an executed contract between the applicant and either a qualified Builder or Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater, who participates in LRNCP. In lieu of an executed contract, HCR will accept a HERS-based plan review completed by a participating HERS rater which affirms the project design will meet the high efficiency guidelines required to meet NYSERDA’s program requirements.
- NYSERDA Multifamily New Construction Program (MF NCP):
Projects may participate in MF NCP and commit to meet the relevant version of MF NCP. Projects are encouraged to achieve the highest potential level of energy efficiency and building performance supported through MF NCP. Please be advised that the level of performance achieved may substantially affect the incentives available from NYSERDA and any changes in building or energy codes may affect the program version applicable to a project.
The application must include an executed contract between the applicant and a NYSERDA approved Primary Energy Consultant to monitor the design and construction to meet the program requirements.
- Historic Rehabilitation & Adaptive Re-Use:
Projects with buildings designated as historic by local, state or federal authorities undergoing a substantial rehabilitation or adaptive re-use, that cannot fully implement one of the other standards described below without negatively affecting the historic building characteristics, shall enroll in either the NYSERDA LRNCP, MF NCP, or subsequent programs administered by NYSERDA to achieve the New York Energy Smart or equivalent designation offered by participating in one of those programs. The applicant’s development team shall work with NYSERDA and HCR to implement the applicable provisions of these programs. The application must include an executed contract as noted above for the applicable NYSERDA program.
Enterprise Green Communities
Projects may participate in Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, 2015, or newer if applicable based on the construction timeframe. Projects in New York City may utilize the New York City - Enterprise Green Communities overlay. Choosing this strategy requires full participation in Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, which utilizes ENERGY STAR programs applicable for evaluating energy efficiency. The applicant must submit an executed contract with a licensed professional energy consultant to monitor the design and construction as necessary to meet the program requirements of Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and to comply with the mandatory Energy Star criteria.
As an alternative to these standards, HCR may choose to approve projects that prefer to implement standards set by other nationally recognized leaders in the sustainability and energy efficiency industry, provided that they can demonstrate that the Project will qualify to be certified as CBI compliant for low carbon performance. Appropriate documentation demonstrating compliance with both the selected alternate program and CBI standards must be submitted to HCR for approval prior to HCR Credit Committee approval in order to participate in one of the alternate programs listed below. Additionally, the project must meet or exceed the NYS Energy Code criteria or more stringent local municipal codes.
A list of alternative standards that applicants may choose are as follows:
- National Green Building Standard (Side Tab)- 2015 ICC 700 National Green Building Standard. The applicant shall submit an executed letter of agreement with a Verifier accredited by Home Innovation Research Labs to monitor the design and construction as necessary for final certification to the Silver, or higher level.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) (Side Tab)- US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Rating System. At a minimum, projects shall comply with the current, or newer, criteria for: LEED version 4 BD+C Homes, or LEED version 4 BD+C Multifamily Midrise. If the housing type proposed is not recognized under either of these LEED rating systems, an equivalent LEED rating system may be substituted upon agreement by HCR. The applicant shall submit an executed letter of agreement with a LEED Green Rater to monitor the design and construction as necessary for LEED certification.
- Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) or Passive House Institute (PHI) (Side Tab)
Projects may utilize either PHIUS or PHI programs. Certification shall be obtained under PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard – North America, or newer, based on the construction timeframe, or certified under PHI protocols. The applicant shall submit a form of a receipt from PHIUS or PHI that the project was accepted into their program, or submit an executed letter of agreement between the applicant and a PHIUS or PHI certified Passive House consultant or designer (CPHC or CPHD) that includes monitoring of the design and construction as necessary for pre-certification and final certification.
Additional information may be found at the following websites:
Existing buildings undergoing substantial or gut rehabilitation are to be treated as new construction, and they must adhere to the sustainability standards for new construction to the fullest extent possible. Historic or adaptive reuse projects that cannot fully adhere to all of the requirements may request a waiver. The applicant should identify specific areas of noncompliance with the selected standard and provide sufficient documentation for consideration of a waiver.