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Would you avoid a building with a failing grade?

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Natalie Patton

There's a big change coming to buildings in New York City and as it becomes commonplace, national brands may start to have higher expectations for buildings across the country.

It's called Local Law 33 and it requires buildings of 25,000 square feet or more (both residential and commercial) to display an energy efficiency grade near a public entrance. The idea is borrowed from the health department's restaurant grades which have become a proxy for the question "Will I get sick if I eat here?" Warranted or not, most people are hesitant to eat anywhere with less than an "A" grade. 

New York legislators hope the building grades will chart the same course in the hearts and minds of tenants. Particularly for those tenants who make sustainability part of their brand, will it be harder to make the case for practicing what you preach if it's clear you're operating out of a building that isn't energy efficient?

Jeff Hendler, CEO of Logical Buildings and NYSERDA/RTEM partner with OTI, told the Commercial Observer that owners are fearful of this change.

"It's definitely going to be part of the decision-making process [for tenants] on the commercial side," he said.

The grade system is part of a larger package of legislation called the Climate Mobilization Act which goes into effect in 2025. Beyond the impact on public perception, buildings owners will face fines if their buildings don't comply with the stricter energy efficiency and emissions standards.

While five years can seem like a long way out, it takes time to work out the plan that is best for each building so it's worthwhile to start examining providers and considering designs sooner rather than later. Especially in old buildings, there are lots of little things that can be done to achieve immediate savings while a larger strategy is deployed. 

For our part, in coordination with partners like Logical Buildings and with financial incentives from programs like NYSERDA's RTEM, we're helping buildings across NYC to walk down this energy efficient road well before they're required to.

As a Master Systems Integrator, we design and install network backbones, connect systems and devices to enterprise platforms for monitoring and maintenance and consult with owners on future-focused strategies. Our Energy Analytics fit seamlessly into our enterprise management platform so stakeholders from the basement to the boardroom can find energy issues, chart the most effective route to remediation and track progress.

When you're ready to engage with an MSI to help your building earn an A grade or to avoid fines once the Climate Mobilization Act goes into effect, take a look at the top 5 traits we recommend you use to gauge candidates. Then contact us, we'll be glad to share ideas on how to achieve your energy efficiency goals.

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