The ordinance defines "covered buildings" as "any non-residential building with indoor floor space of at least 50,000 square feet." This is the same as the original group of buildings that were required to benchmark their energy and water use back in 2012.
Base building systems must be inspected including "systems or subsystems of a building that use energy or impact energy consumption including building envelope, the HVAC (heating ventilating and air conditioning) systems, conveying systems, domestic hot water systems and electrical lighting systems."
Excluded from this definition are tenant-owned systems, condominium or cooperative units, and systems that serve only a tenant's leased space. Indsutrial processes are also exempted.
After the inspection is completed, corrective action must be taken to "resolve all adjustments and minor repairs that are identified through the inspection." Minor repairs are defined as "low-cost repairs to existing equipment such that the scope of work does not require permits from the Departments of Licenses and Inspections."
The forthcoming regulations will provide further insight into what must be corrected and what is optional.
Components of the inspection will be further defined in regulations.
For an example of what an inspection protocol looks like in practice in a peer city, see the City of Seattle's inspection workbook.
“Qualified tune-up specialist” is defined as a licensed Professional Engineer or Certified Energy Manager. The inspection component of a tune-up "shall be supervised by a qualified tune-up specialist" who "shall provide to the building owner a signed inspection report setting out findings and recommendations regarding each of the required inspection elements." The Office of Sustainability may establish other qualification requirements for tune-up specialists through the regulations.
In-house staff or contracted service providers can complete the corrective actions so long as the final building tune-up report is verified and signed by a qualified tune-up specialist.
Yes. A building owner may be exempted from a scheduled building tune-up upon a showing, no later than 180 days prior to a scheduled tune-up, of any of the following high-performance pathways:
Additional alternative compliance pathways may be included through regulations or upon determination by the Director of the Office of Sustainability.
Tune-up reports that cover inpections and corrective actions and are signed off on by a qualified tune-up specialist are due on the following schedule:
For buildings of at least 200,000 square feet: September 30, 2021.
For buildings of at least 100,000 square feet and less than 200,000 square feet: September 30, 2022.
For buildings of at least 70,000 square feet and less than 100,000 square feet: September 30, 2023.
For buildings of at least 50,000 and less than 70,000 square feet: September 30, 2024.
Buildings owners can complete their inspections and corrective actions no earlier than two years prior to the scheduled compliance deadline.
All buildings will be required to comply again with the tune-up legislation five years after their initial deadline.
The Director of the Office of Sustainability may provide upon application an alternative compliance schedule for building owners that own "20 or more covered buildings or cumulative floor area in covered buildings of five million (5,000,000) square feet or more."
If you meet these requirements, it's likely that one or more of your buildings is eligible for a high-performance pathway so start with identifying those buildings first.
If a building owner does not comply - either by conducting a tune-up OR showing proof of meeting an alternative compliance pathway - the owner will be subject to a $2,000 fine. After the thirtieth day of non-compliance, an owner is subject to an additional fine of $500 each day until compliance is met.
A building's compliance date and compliance status - compliant, high-performance exemption, non-compliance - will be published publicly.
Green Building United will keep everyone updated as the City of Philadelphia publishes regulations in the next few months that provide additional compliance details beyond what's outlined in the bill language.
If you're a building owner or manager, consider joining the Philadelphia 2030 District where we provide regular updates to our participating partners. Reach out to Katie Bartolotta at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on joining.