Case Study

The Victory

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Energy conservation analysis at midtown tower

The Victory is a 45-story luxury residential tower built in 2004 in New York City. The tower is comprised of 417 units and amenities include a resident lounge, outdoor terrace, fitness center, and laundry facilities. This property is part of the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) portfolio and was studied along with two other properties to develop a deep energy retrofit case study. The intent of the study was to go beyond the goals of a typical study and investigate measures to achieve net zero performance and study high and low impact ECMs such as controls and sensors, tenant engagement, and water efficiency.

Project Status

Planning

Under Construction

Monitoring & Evaluation

Lessons Learned

Switching from steam or gas heating coils to an air-cooled heat pump system in building HVACs provides cooling, heating, and significantly reduces carbon emissions.

Lessons Learned

Buildings with PTAC units using steam coils can upgrade to PTHP units for electrified space heating without needing additional electrical panel upgrades, as the existing infrastructure already supports cooling.

Lessons Learned

Optimizing domestic hot water heating to the maximum capacity of the existing electrical infrastructure can cover 60% to over 80% of the load. Peak demands can be met using existing boilers or a smaller dedicated boiler, enhancing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions without expensive upgrades to electric services.

A baseline assessment is key to understanding current systems and performance, then identifying conditions, requirements or events that will trigger a decarbonization effort. The assessment looks across technical systems, asset strategy and sectoral factors.

Building System Conditions
  • System Failure
  • New heat source potential
  • Efficiency improvements
Asset Conditions
  • Capital event cycles
  • Carbon emissions limits
  • Building codes
  • Owner sustainability goals
Market Conditions
  • Policy changes
  • Fuels phase out
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ESRT’s working definition of net zero existing buildings is that by drastically reducing building operational emissions, partnering with a renewably sourced grid aligned with CLCPA, and offsetting residual emissions through clean energy generation and/or RECs through a transparent accounting and reporting process, net annual building operational carbon emissions are equal to zero. By 2035, the ESRT portfolio will target net zero carbon through an 80% operational carbon reduction, achieved through a combination of energy efficiency measures and a more renewable sourced grid, as well as a 20% offset with off-site clean energy generation and RECs. 

The Victory is located in New York City and subject to LL97 compliance regulations.



Effective engineering integrates measures for reducing energy load, recovering wasted heat, and moving towards partial or full electrification. This increases operational efficiencies, optimizes energy peaks, and avoids oversized heating systems, thus alleviating space constraints and minimizing the cost of retrofits to decarbonize the building over time.

Existing Conditions

This diagram illustrates the building prior to the initiation of Strategic Decarbonization planning by the owners and their teams.

Click through the measures under “Building After” to understand the components of the building’s energy transition.

Sequence of Measures

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

2034

2024

Building System Affected

  • heating
  • cooling
  • ventilation
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Making a business case for strategic decarbonization requires thinking beyond a traditional energy audit approach or simple payback analysis. It assesses business-as-usual costs and risks against the costs and added value of phased decarbonization investments in the long-term.

Retrofit Costs

Decarbonization Costs

$9.8M

Capital costs of decarbonization through 2034.

Avoided Risks

Business-as-Usual Costs

$4.1M + $106k / YR

Energy cost savings: 103k / YR by 2036.

Repairs & maintenance savings: 3k / YR.

BAU cost of system replacement/upgrades: 4.1M avoided 2035-2049.

Avoided Risks

Business-as-Usual Risks

$1M

Avoided LL97 fines through 2034.

Added Value

Decarbonization Value

$3.4M

Incentives.

Net Present Value

$2.8M

Net difference between the present value of cash inflows and outflows over a period of time.

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Four ECM packages were compiled as an outcome of this high-level study to allow the building an opportunity to optimize NPV and CO2 reductions. The Victory recommended package meets the ESRT 80% CO2 reduction with the CLCPA grid. It also meets the LL97 2040 targets based on the project grid. This package results in a 58.9% energy reduction from the benchmark year. Energy cost savings begin to accumulate toward the end of the study period. Utility costs increase is mitigated by energy cost savings associated with implementing the recommended package. 

An emissions decarbonization roadmap helps building owners visualize their future emissions reductions by outlining the CO2 reductions from selected energy conservation measures. This roadmap is designed with a phased approach, considering a 20- or 30-year timeline, and incorporates the evolving benefits of grid decarbonization, ensuring a comprehensive view of long-term environmental impact.

Strategic decarbonization roadmap for The Victory.
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Installation of recommended ECMs goes into 2034. The recommended 2024 measures are focused on improvement of ventilation efficiencies in general areas and electrification of apartment heating and appliance upgrades, along with base building efficiencies with an estimated 2.3-year payback.

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