Apartment Buildings Need Not Fear Local Law 87’s Retro-Commissioning

Local Law 87’s retro-commissioning requirement scares owners and managers, and justifiably so.  Local Law 87 lists 28 retro-commissioning items which are to be assessed by a “commissioning professional”.  If an item is found to be deficient, the owner is then responsible for making the necessary adjustments and/or repairs.  Examples of deficient items include uninsulated steam and hot water pipes, fixture leaks, excessive lighting, improperly functioning thermostats and controls, etc.


Naturally, we often hear some variation of the following questions: “What are you going to find during your Local Law 87 retro-commissioning assessment and how much is it going to cost me?”  The last thing any owner wants to do is hire a company to walk through the building, pointing out thousands of dollars of repairs along the way.

Fortunately, most of the common retro-commissioning deficiencies we see in multifamily buildings can be handled inexpensively and easily.  Often times the work required can be performed by the buildings superintendent.  Examples of items we commonly find in apartment buildings are:  Uninsulated steam and hot water pipes, leaking faucets, and inefficient burners in need of a tune up.  These are items which owners typically address as a matter or course anyway.

Retro-commissioning does not require costly capital improvements such as replacing a boiler or changing a roof.

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