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Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Energy Upgrades: A Break for Landmarked Buildings

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has voted to approve a series of changes aimed at speeding up the review and approval process for alterations to landmarked buildings and properties in historic districts, including energy-efficiency projects.

An easier path. The commission voted to approve amendments that tackle the review process for upgrades related to climate resilience and sustainability as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Co-op and condo boards will be able to secure approvals for solar panel installations and changes to an HVAC system, among other upgrades, without a full vote of the commission.

The new rules also amend the review process for what’s known as an Expedited Certificate of No Effect, which is needed when proposed alterations require permitting from the city’s Department of Buildings. Applicants will no longer be required to submit a sworn statement to secure the certificate and will be allowed to file a written statement instead.

Win/win. The changes to the commission’s review and approval process are tied to Mayor Eric Adams’ Get Stuff Built initiative. Robert Holbrook, the executive director of Get Stuff Built, lauded the changes to the commission’s review and permitting process. He said that faster approval timelines and policies reduce the costs for building owners to invest in their properties, adding that a streamlined process also advances the city’s goals to address climate change.

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