Compliance with Executive Order 111 Makes New York State Buildings Greener
April 27, 2005

By Staff
Appeared in Real Estate Journal

In an effort to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible, New York State Governor George Pataki issued Executive Order 111 through the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform. Executive Order 111 directs all state entities to adopt measures to make new and existing buildings greener. The order calls for the design, construction operation and maintenance of new and substantially renovated existing buildings to follow guidelines, “to the maximum extent possible,” for the construction of green buildings. These guidelines include those established by the Green Building Tax Credit law and by the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” (LEED®) Rating System.

Toward this end, and by direction of the executive order, “state agencies and other affected entities engaged in the construction of new buildings are required to achieve at least a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency relative to levels required by the State’s Energy Conservation Construction Code.” For substantial renovation of existing buildings, it directs “state agencies and other affected entities… to achieve at least a 110 percent improvement.”

The order also calls for incorporation of energy-efficient criteria consistent with Energy Star and any other energy-efficient levels designated by the New York State energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in consultation with the Division of Budget, Office of General Services and Advisory Council on State Energy Efficiency.

To comply with Executive Order 111, the State University Construction Fund (SUCF) issued a program directive in February 2004. SUCF’s directive calls for immediate implementation of the governor’s executive order for new and renovated buildings that are 20,0000 square feet or larger. The agency also instructed those involved in the design and construction of new and renovated buildings to use energy-efficient products, to use the LEED Rating System throughout their design, pre-bid, bid and construction processes. It also requires that computer modeling be employed to demonstrate compliance with Executive Order 111, and that a narrative highlighting energy savings measures be prepared along with a description of the methodology used for comparing the chosen design. The SUCF directive mandates that consultants obtain compliance verification.
Two current SUCF projects illustrate the steps that must be taken to comply with Executive Order 111. Syska Hennessy Group is doing the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and telecommunications design on the campus of the State University of New York at Geneseo -- the Integrated Science Facility and The Greene Hall Renovation.

Within the framework established by the SUCF program directive, a thorough review was completed prior to the start of design on the applicability of the Green Building Tax Credit law and the LEED Rating System. A narrative describing the proposed Green Building Design Approach was prepared, identifying 26 LEED credits and associated costs. Computer-based modeling software was used to demonstrate energy compliance with Executive Order 111. In addition, an Indoor Air Quality Construction Management Plan was developed.

As these projects show, compliance with Executive Order 111 requires considerable upfront planning by the design and construction team. Undoubtedly, the regulatory requirements will have the intended effect – ensuring that the projects at Geneseo and at other state buildings will be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly from here on out.