Park Avenue, New York
25 Circle St/ #101
Rochester, NY 14607
(585) 454­4670

An Introduction to New York's Energy Efficiency Codes December 26, 2019

Park Avenue, Rochester
An Introduction to New York's Energy Efficiency Codes, Rochester, New York

Building codes usually exist to protect the safety of occupants or preserve a neighborhood’s character, but New York State has additional requirements. Under the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State, every new development or substantial renovation must meet efficiency requirements that can affect every aspect of your building design, from the basement windows to the attic insulation. Understanding state law before your project begins can prevent unexpected delays and costly last-minute redesigns. Below, learn more about these laws and how it applies to construction. 

New York State’s Energy Efficiency Laws

building designNew York’s energy efficiency laws feature strict prescriptions describing which construction materials and equipment can be used in a project. For instance, the code requires insulation with a minimum R-value of 25 on exterior walls and limits the types of lighting fixtures and heating equipment that can be used. Even fireplace covers and swimming pool heaters are subject to New York’s energy efficiency building codes.

The Performance Analysis Approach

Fortunately, New York’s code allows building owners to take a different approach that may allow them to bypass some of the prescriptive elements of the law. Instead of looking at individual features, this approach uses complex software to analyze and predict the energy efficiency of the building as a whole. Many building designers prefer this method, which allows them to trade shortfalls in one area for increased performance in another.

The Basics of Local Codes

If you’re planning a construction project in New York, it’s important to understand which codes apply and how they might affect your building. For instance, New York City has its own energy efficiency codes that actually supersede state law. In other cases, even an adaptive reuse project can be subject to the code, which could substantially increase the cost of your building design and remodel.


For almost 20 years, Pardi Partnership Architects PC has delivered intelligent, beautiful building design and build services to clients throughout Upstate and Western New York. Their streamlined process encompasses every aspect of your project, preventing mistakes and ensuring your building is finished on time and under budget. Visit their website to view some samples of their work, follow their Facebook for more professional tips and advice, or call (585) 454­-4670 to discuss your project with a member of their team today.

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from Pardi Partnership Architects PC
3 Ways to Incorporate Solar Energy Into Your Building Design, Rochester, New York
Solar panels are an increasingly popular way to meet the energy demands of commercial buildings and even large-scale industrial facilities. Incorporating solar energy into your build...read more
3 Ways to Make Your Architectural Design Eco-Friendly, Rochester, New York
With environmental issues and concerns becoming more relevant in American society, sustainable architecture is following suit. Many building owners and construction companies have ma...read more
How Urban Green Spaces Benefit Commercial Architecture, Rochester, New York
While aesthetically-pleasing eateries and public transportation stations seem to be on every corner, it’s much harder to find nature in the midst of a big city. Luckily, many develop...read more
Key Steps for Successfully Restoring Your Old Cottage, Rochester, New York
Old cottages and bungalows carry a unique charm that many modern structures just can’t match, including classic details and even hand-made materials. Restoring a small home to its fo...read more