Case Studies

Park Terrace Gardens

Outside view of Park Terrace Gardens

Park Terrace Gardens worked with an energy management firm to identify the most effective ways to reduce the co-op's energy use and resolve chronic heating imbalances. Steam system measures included boiler, piping, venting, and control system improvements. These were supplemented with simple air sealing measures to minimize heat loss. The completed scope of work balanced building temperatures, improved comfort, and slashed heating fuel use by 19%, saving an average of $109,000 a year.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, heating, cooling, hot water

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1717 East 18th Street

The 1717 East 18th Street co-op board initially planned to upgrade their old boiler control system to a more responsive internet-enabled model. After meeting with their heating contractor, the board learned that they could make even greater improvements to their steam heating system's performance by completing a holistic scope of work that also included boiler and burner tune-ups and venting improvements. These complementary measures improved heating system performance and efficiency, greatly enhancing resident comfort and significantly reducing utility costs.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, heating, cooling, hot water

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French Apartments

Related Companies worked with an engineering firm to explore the best options for replacing French Apartments' aging boilers. After analyzing the steam system's performance, the firm determined that Related could dramatically improve energy efficiency and enhance tenant comfort by completing a comprehensive scope of work that also included steam distribution system, radiator, and envelope improvements. The completed suite of work not only cut annual heating fuel use in half, but also resolved under- and over-heating problems and quieted noisy pipes and radiators.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, heating, cooling, hot water

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Pursuing Passive: Strategies for a High Comfort, Low Energy Retrofit in NYC

View looking up towards the top of  building

While many buildings perform efficiency upgrades to individual systems, there are limited examples of occupied buildings that perform the type of integrated retrofits that are likely needed for most cities to meet their climate action goals. The emphasis of the study is on selecting energy conservation measures and phasing these measures over time, while the building is occupied.  This report also describes how capital planning for such measures might be organized, code and regulatory barriers to pursuing this deep retrofit, and the most important technical and market challenges.  The goal of this work is to provide a high-level guidance document that allows similar such buildings to envision a phased deep retrofit of their own building.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, comprehensive study

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AvalonBay Communities

View looking up towards the top of  building

At Avalon Riverview South in Long Island City, Queens, AVB will upgrade heating and lighting controls and install LED fixtures over the next three years, as they plan to do across their portfolio. They will also implement a number of more ambitious near-term upgrades, such as replacing aging air handlers with energy recovery ventilation dedicated outdoor air systems.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, heating, cooling, lighting

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Bronx Pro Group

Walkway leading up to a Bronx Pro  Group property

Bronx Pro Group is an affordable housing developer with over 60 properties in the West Bronx. Dedicated to improving quality of life across their buildings, Bronx Pro has emerged as a champion of sustainability and energy efficiency over the last decade. With help from the NYC Accelerator's High Performance Retrofit Track (HPRT), the company is now optimizing hydronic heating systems and piloting innovative air-to-water heat pumps (AWHPs) for domestic hot water at two of their largest locations, aiming to reduce energy use by 40-60% over 15 years.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, heating, cooling, hot water

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Diego Beekman Apartments

Diego Beekman is prioritizing measures that not only save energy, but also enhance the health and comfort of residents, many of whom are senior citizens. This includes ventilation upgrades, from installing variable speed roof fans to conserve energy and improve airflow, to cleaning and sealing ductwork to enhance indoor air quality. Twenty-eight buildings will also have rooftop solar installed to generate clean energy that Diego Beekman will sell to its neighbors.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, ventilation, solar

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FirstService Residential

FirstService Residential in partnership with co-op board members, and Accelerator Efficiency Advisors are working together to develop comprehensive capital plans that will meet the unique needs of three co-ops, located in Manhattan and Queens. Currently, Accelerator is helping both Queens co-ops navigate immediate, emergency equipment replacement needs (steam plant end-of-life and corroded return pipes in one case; chiller plant failure and leaking condensate lines in the other). The Midtown residence, not facing any urgent issues, is proactively developing a plan for future capital needs in a way that will save energy, improve comfort, and limit disruption to tenants.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, heating, cooling, hot water, lighting

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International Tailoring Co. Building

Spacious room in the International  Tailoring Co. Building with floor-to-ceiling windows

Built in 1920 to house the International Tailoring Company, 111 4th Avenue was converted to cooperative residential units in 1980. Much of the building's aging mechanical equipment, including the hydronic heating and cooling system, is past its prime, resulting in poor performance and energy waste. The building envelope, which features beautiful large windows, is also poorly insulated, causing uncomfortable drafts and heat loss. To enhance comfort and efficiency, the co-op is working with the NYC Accelerator's High Performance Retrofit Track (HPRT) to implement a comprehensive capital plan for efficiency upgrades that will reduce energy use by 40 to 60% within 15 years.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, heating, cooling, building envelope

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New York University

A street, with people walking  past, that is lined with NYU buildings

New York University (NYU) has been a leader in climate action for well over a decade. Currently, the university is also partnering with the NYC Accelerator's High Performance Retrofit Track (HPRT) to showcase leading-edge energy efficiency solutions at two of their properties. NYU's HPRT projects demonstrate how upgrades to the building envelope (i.e. exterior walls, windows, roof), are just as crucial as those to mechanical systems and can yield significant comfort and health benefits in addition to energy and cost savings.

Project type: retrofit, academic, heating, cooling, hot water, building envelope

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RiseBoro Community Partnership

Façade of  Knickerbocker Commons

Dedicated to creating healthy, sustainable communities, RiseBoro made waves in 2014 by building the first Passive House-certified, affordable multifamily residence in the nation. Inspired by the performance of this high-comfort, ultra-low energy use building, RiseBoro committed to converting their entire portfolio to Passive House-levels of performance over the next 15 to 20 years. With help from the New York City Accelerator's High Performance Retrofit Track, RiseBoro is now renovating their first twelve properties. They are aiming to reduce energy use by 60-80%, improve indoor air quality and comfort, and preserve affordability, all while supporting the City's ambitious climate action goals.

Project type: retrofit, multi-family, heating, cooling, hot water, building envelope

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