The grid is increasingly stressed and less reliable due to storms, heatwaves, under-capacity, etc. causing loss of heating, cooling, refrigeration, essential and vital services, electronic payment processing, wholesale and retail business operations. Even for properties above the 500-year floodplain, intensified storms cause periodic flooding and disrupt power since most power lines are above ground.
Fundamental Back-Up Power + Operations
Design for protection from power outages from the grid, including those caused by floods, under capacity, civil disturbances, hurricanes, high winds, and intense storms of all kinds including ice, and heatwaves.
Provide permanent back-up power, switching gear and/or power hook-ups, and infrastructure for temporary generators to provide power for critical utilities such as HVAC and boilers. Locate equipment and infrastructure above the 500-year floodplain. For existing facilities with switch gear, infrastructure and/or fuel storage located below the 500-year floodplain elevation, develop a detailed flood protection plan and provide on-site supplies and infrastructure for protecting electrical switch gear/critical infrastructure from flood water. Modify existing infrastructure in combination with the protection plan, if needed, to ensure protection.
If the equipment is not sufficiently elevated as described above, then dry flood protection such as flood gates, walls, doors and/or inflatable barriers must be provided to prevent water intrusion into these vulnerable areas. Flood depth, duration, velocity, and condition of water should be considered (including floating debris). Flood protection must be provided to the 500-year flood level height if known, otherwise 3 feet above the known Base Flood Elevation (100-year flood level) or Advisory Base Flood Elevation.
Note: Duration over which back-up power must be provided:
Back-up power time durations for thermal safety and/or critical functions are identified below. Meet these requirements or meet requirements of local code, whichever is more stringent.
*Cleaner burning fuels include natural gas (if allowed by local code)
Elevator operation must be maintained as required by code only for emergency facilities such as 911 call centers, fire or police stations. Hospitals must maintain the operation of elevators serving staff and patients.
NYC Urban Green Proposals
Conform with the following Proposals developed by the Urban Green, NYC Building Resiliency Task Force: #8, #15, #21, #22, #23 and #24.
#8. Prevent Sewage back flow (New structures)
#15. Choose Reliable Back-up Power + Prioritize Needs (required for hospitals and emergency response facilities)
- For other facilities, where possible, provide co-generation and solar power systems as part of the back-up system because they are always in use and can be more reliable than generators. Provide power for the following priorities and more if possible (Hospitals and Emergency Centers must provide power for all critical functions):
- Tier 1: Egress
- Tier 2: Extended Life Safety
- Tier 3: Water
- Tier 4: Parking Egress #21. Keep Residential Stairwells + Hallways Lit During Blackouts #22. Keep Gas Stations Open During Blackouts
#23. Supply Drinking Power without Power (from the public water main in Residential Common Areas)
#24. Ensure Toilets + Sinks Work without Grid Power (some toilets and faucets need electricity to function)
- Urban Green Building Resiliency Task Force: Task Force Summary Report
- Urban Green Building Resiliency Task Force: Task Force Full Proposals June 2013
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