Syska Hennessy Establishes Electrification Task Force To Guide Compliance with NYC’s Intro 2317 Law

Syska Hennessy Group, the international engineering firm, has created an electrification task force to guide compliance with New York City’s Intro 2317 law. This law, which was enacted in December, prohibits the installation of natural gas-based systems in new commercial construction projects via a phased ban starting in 2024.

The task force comprises engineers from Syska leadership and the firm’s national sustainability practice. Some have served on industry committees that advised New York City lawmakers on the development of Intro 2317 and/or Local Law 97; others have helped clients comply with strict electrification laws in states like California. Members of the task force will collaborate on strategies to achieve beneficial electrification, keeping clients’ utility bills and energy use low while reducing carbon emissions in accordance with the new law.

“It’s not such a straightforward process in New York,” says George Miroshnikov, LEED AP BD+C, BEMP, CEM, senior sustainability specialist. “Our climate is much more heating-focused and colder than any other U.S. jurisdictions that have legislated electrification thus far. We’re adapting the approach used in other regions to accommodate this important variable.”

Additional complications stem from the enactment of Local Law 97, which limits the amount of carbon emissions a building can produce and fines buildings that do not comply.

Despite the complications, Miroshnikov believes that compliance and cost-savings go hand-in-hand. For example, Syska Hennessy is partnering with ConEd and NYSERDA to help clients reduce the capital costs of electrification. Both organizations offer incentives for designing or constructing fully electric buildings and spaces that utilize heat pumps for heating or hot water.

“Decarbonization of the built environment across the U.S. has long been a goal of Syska Hennessy, so we applaud the enactment of Intro 2317,” says chief technical officer Robert Ioanna. He points to the objectives outlined in the firm’s recently published corporate sustainability report, one of which is to promote an efficient, fully electric option for all building systems designed by Syska.

Ioanna adds that Syska’s participation in the Carbon Leadership Forum’s MEP 2040 Challenge, which sets ambitious goals for net-zero carbon in projects, further drives the movement toward electrification.

For more information on Intro 2317, please see this summary from the Urban Green Council.

For more information on Syska’s sustainability practice, please visit the practice’s web page.