New Guidelines for Solar Energy

 By Johan Soltani

Solar energy is gaining momentum throughout New York City. Solar collectors can absorb thermal energy from sun and convert them for usable heat in the building. This can be used for water heating, heat for rooms, and swimming pools.

DOB has issued guidelines under Building Bulletin 24 of 2015. The Bulletin covers flat plate panels, evacuated tube collectors and integral collector storage systems. Other types require specific DOB approval.

No flammable liquid or gas can be used in construction of solar heating systems. There are several Code sections that regulates collector light transmitting plastics. Equipment on the roof, noise output, fluids, potable water supply and contamination of domestic water, piping, heat exchangers, and supporting construction.

A separate application is required to be filed with DOB for the installation of solar energy collectors, and work permits for installation and electrical work are required. The roof must be evaluated for its ability to sustain the additional load for this installation. A special inspection item is also added to the list of requirements. The roof installation must also comply with FDNY roof access clearances if the building is less than 100 feet high. For more details, please click here.