Sustainability Standards
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Energy Efficiency Standards

In an effort to assist New York State in reaching the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard goal to reduce carbon emissions forty percent by 2030, HCR requires multifamily projects receiving financing to adhere to national or state energy efficiency standards, depending on the type of project and the sources of financing. 

These energy conservation standards include:
 

EPA Energy Star

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:

 

 

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.

 

National Green Building

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)

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 (PHI) or Passive House Institute US (PHIUS)

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.
 

New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA)

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.

HCR Moderate Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings or Historic Preservation

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.

For projects seeking HCR financing resources through Unified Funding, project scoring may vary based on the energy conservation standard selected by the developer.  Details are set forth in “Mandatory Energy Efficiency Strategies” in Section 5 of the Unified Funding Request for Proposals (Design Requirements and Scoring) [hyperlink http://www.nyshcr.org/Funding/UnifiedFundingMaterials/2018/MultifamilyProgramsUnifiedFundingRequestforProposals.pdf ]

Green Building Requirements for New Construction
For new construction projects seeking HCR financing resources through tax-exempt bond and subsidy applications (4% LIHTC projects), projects may be subject to additional sustainability requirements established by the Climate Bond Initiative. Details on the sustainability requirements established by the Climate Bond Initiative for new construction are set forth in the Green Building Requirements for New Construction
Green Building Requirements for Preservation
For preservation projects seeking HCR financing resources through tax-exempt bond and subsidy applications (4% LIHTC projects), projects may be required to perform an Integrated Physical Needs Assessment to meet sustainability requirements. Details on the sustainability requirements for preservation projects are set forth in the Green Building Requirements for Preservation
Energy Benchmarking
While all projects are encouraged to track their utility usage as a tool to effectively manage energy efficiency, all projects financed through HCR tax-exempt bond and subsidy applications (4% LIHTC projects) are required to adhere to HCR’s Benchmarking Protocol.