Public comments for: Amendment of Rules Regarding Energy Audits and Retro-Commissioning

Comments

Comment:
After reviewing the proposed amendment, we agree with the proposed changes. Specifically, the additional requirement of utilizing Design Professionals to review and submit the report will work to provide a consistent and high quality product. The target is to provide building owners with the information required to maintain and operate their systems as efficiently as possible. Design Professionals are the ones who initially design and engineer the building systems, that level of detailed connection to the energy using systems can prove to be highly beneficial during the energy audit.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
As an engineer with extensive experience in building system control and monitoring, I feel compelled to comment. I hold a BS in Biology and Engineering Science along with two masters degrees in engineering. All my degrees are from ABET accredited engineering programs. I have worked in industry for nearly 30 years and have never sat for the Professional Engineer licensing exam. You might think that I am against the proposed amendment. I am definitely NOT against it. As the amendment reads, it still allows me, an expert in Embedded Controls & Testing to continue to be a part of building evaluations but the change really says that the Team Leader must be a Registered Design Professional. This simply means that their "feet are on the fire". They are solely responsible for the proper execution of the evaluation and resulting implementation to be successful. I congratulate the NYC DOB for finally realizing that this compliance process needs to take a "team approach" that starts with the Building Owner or Owner's Rep selecting and supporting a team, includes the building staff, the commissioning provider, the contractor or manufacturer rep, the controls contractor, the testing specialist, and the Team Leader - A Registered Design Professional. Please realize that this does NOT exclude the Association for Energy Engineers, or the Building Performance Institute designations from taking an active role in the process. People with these designations have been and will continue to be an important part of the process. For a deeper dive into what I believe makes for a successful ruling, please see my attached letter sent to the New York City Department of Buildings Office of the General Counsel. Please note that the National Society of Professional Engineers believes that building inspections in general are to be left to design professionals for the same reason...accountability.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
As a provider of Building Energy Compliance solutions in over two dozen jurisdictions globally, the team at Schneider Electric has a keen awareness of both the pros and cons of laws driving sustainability in existing buildings. In six years of working through Local Law 87 it is our firm belief that the proposed rule changes specific to Registered Design Professionals will not achieve the desired result for NYC. We have completed projects in nearly 50 properties, both with RDPs and with CEMs/CBCPs, and in no way has the project differed in level of quality or benefit to our clients facilities. Our issues have been the "moving target" from the LL87 Enforcement Unit - well documented - where their small but well-intentioned team has gone away from the wording of the Law and the requirements for building owners. RDPs will not succeed in this issue! You should instead focus on the support that Seattle, San Francisco, Boulder and Boston - or even the EU within the EED - are providing so that as partners we can make the built environment a better environment. NYC is a leader in sustainability and energy efficiency, for sure. However the rules changes proposed will severely limit this innovation - DO NOT PROCEED!
Agency: DOB
Comment:
Based on the proposal to amend section 103-07 of Title 1 of the Rules of the City of New York relating to energy audits and retro-commissioning, a design professional with no experience within the field of energy management, does not provide any additional responsibility to the requirements; This can do more harm than good. Therefore, I agree that having the CEM/CEA working under the supervision of a registered design professional is counterproductive based on the following: • People who do energy audits are required to be trained and have a special skill set to perform these types of audits. • People performing this work shall be properly certified which doesn’t necessarily mean to be a registered design professional. Furthermore, practical experience can outweigh registered design professionals that are not intimate with energy audit and retro-commissioning knowledge. • To have a registered design professional with no practical experience does not meet the intent of the mayor’s goals and objective of reducing New York City carbon emissions and its effects on climate change. Having a design professional overseeing the CEM/CEA does not provide any technical insight on ways to evaluate and perform energy audit and retro-commissioning in a more comprehensive manner. Therefore, this rule should not be adopted.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
I think that the overall intent of the revisions to the Local Law 87 rule is justified (except for changes to the service provider credentials) as the DOB wants to ensure more consistency and higher quality from service providers. Adding more explicit detail to the retro-commissioning (RCx) procedures and functional performance testing guidelines is a significant improvement to the existing version of the rule. The expectations of the RCx agents is much clearer and will result in a more objective protocol for defining the RCx scope. Also, developing a more tangible description of the Current Facility Requirements (CFR) by making references to industry professional organizations and local codes is very helpful in further defining the RCx scope. Changes to the required service provider credentials are a point of contention. For the scope of the ASHRAE Level II study, certified professionals whom specialize in the fields of energy auditing and retro-commissioning have the requisite expertise and are more than qualified to submit the reports. In many cases, registered design professionals may not have specialized knowledge of auditing and advanced energy analysis. In addition, many registered design professionals may not have appreciable field experience in existing buildings and may have limited exposure to equipment testing and diagnostics. The CEM, CEA, CBCP, EBCP, etc. certifications have been specifically developed to acknowledge professionals who have specialized expertise in the fields of energy management and retro-commissioning which is in direct parallel with Local Law 87 requirements. The audit and RCx reporting is not intended to be design documentation and thus a registered design professional is not warranted. In fact, this may delay the project delivery and increase the fee for the building owner/manager, while adding minimal to no value by having a registered design professional sign off on an audit and retro-commissioning report. Perhaps, if the reports were used in the future as the basis of equipment replacement, system configuration, etc. then a design professional could be contracted to assist with those services. Perhaps there are other methods that the DOB can employ to quantify submission quality and better vet the service providers in the market. The DOB’s objective should be to keep as many high quality service providers in the market as possible rather than imposing a criteria which would limit the market without enhancing the goals of the law. This will be especially true if and when the Local Law 87 requirements apply to buildings 25,000 SF and greater.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
Energy Auditing and Retro-commissioning are both specialized fields of work. Anyone that has a CEM or CBCP certification has demonstrated through education, experience and certification exam that they are qualified for the task at hand. The CEM or CBCP has a unique expertise in identifying energy savings measures and calculating associated savings and implementation costs. There is no need for oversight from a design professional during the auditing and retro-cx phases. A design professional would potentially be required for corrective action or implementation of recommendations.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
I echo the sentiment of the other comments against requiring the supervision of a Registered Design Professional to perform the services. I am certified with both AEE and NEBB and have over 25 years experience in performing audits and providing retro-commissioning services. One can be a Registered Design Professional and have no practical experience with these services. From a technical stand point: (2) HVAC, (iv) Two-pipe steam distribution (C) Supply and return piping temperature differential. This test is not accurate enough to provide a pass/fail grade for a steam/condensate system and should be removed from the addendum or modified. Though a high temperature differential is a good indicator of properly working steam traps, a lower dT is not necessarily and indicator of a poor one. The majority of commercially available thermostatic type steam traps (radiator type) operate with 20F-40F of sub cooling. Other types of traps operate with little to no sub cooling. As such, a properly operating system, with well insulated condensate return pipes, could operate with a temperature differential of less than 20F.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
We are in support of much of the new legislation and especially the part about requiring the retro-commissioning agent to provide a schematic drawing of the steam pipe distribution, as we believe this is an important aspect that can be overlooked. We strongly disagree with the requirement to submit under the supervision of a PE. Our CEM and CBCP certified staff is more than capable and knowledgeable in their expertise of this law, and have been training in interpreting and submitting EA reports under this law since its inception. We feel this ammendment will also severely damage many of the firms out there who have already been doing this work since the law started, and are entirely knowledgeable and competent in its requests.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
Keep the CEA and or CEM qualification to submit energy audit reports. Registered design professionals are not sufficient in the energy field and have not taken the proper training to asses the built environment for energy savings potential.
Agency: DOB
Comment:
ACEC New York’s comments on DOB’s proposed rule regarding energy audits and retro-commissioning.
Agency: DOB

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