Known as the ‘Oscars of Sustainable Existing Buildings’, the finalists for the annual EBie Awards were recently announced by the Urban Green Council which aimed to celebrate sustainability improvements in Existing Buildings (therefore the EBies) and the individuals who made them happen. Recognizing “unsung heroes” who have made great strides in improving environmental performance, research shows that changes to existing buildings will have the greatest environmental impact, despite new buildings often getting the spotlight. More images and information on the finalists and their projects after the break.
John Barnes, SL Green Realty Corp.
Project: 360 Hamilton Avenue | White Plains, NY / Commercial Office Building / 384,000 sq. ft.
Team: Tom Giantomidis, Property Manager, SL Green Realty Corp.; Patricia Lee, Director, CodeGreen Solutions; David Valentine, Chief Engineer, SL Green Realty Corp.
Description: SL Green Realty Corp. and its suburban division, Reckson, are committed to improving efficiency and tenant experience. 360 Hamilton Ave, located in the city’s central business district, is the culmination of ongoing sustainable development throughout the portfolio. The building, an abandoned AT&T facility, was upgraded to a first class property for its Fortune 500 tenants through a multi-million dollar repositioning. The upgraded HVAC infrastructure set the stage for ongoing improvements over time and allowed the property to receive the US EPA ENERGY STAR Label.
Jay Black, SL Green Realty Corp.
Project: LED Lighting Retrofit | New York, NY / Commercial Office Building / 1.4 million sq. ft.
Team: Bob Breschard, Property Manager, SL Green Realty Corp.; Elizabeth Majkowski, Senior Vice President, Director of Operations, SL Green Realty Corp.
Description: SL Green launched a portfolio-wide, 21-property retrofit initiative resulting in huge energy savings and reduced overall heat load on existing HVAC equipment. In total, this project saves 902,498 kWh annually, which is equal to a savings of $171,475 per year.
Prior to the project completion, the building lighting engineer spent 4.5 hours per week to replace the lobby lighting alone. The additional time benefits now allow building staff to focus on other critical building needs, improving overall building performance. Enhancing the quality of the building environment is critical to improving the tenant experience. Building tenants appreciated the improved quality of lobby lighting and more even levels of illumination.
Ashish Dua, Acumen Capital Partners
Project: Standard Motor Products Building – Brooklyn Grange | Queens, NY / Rooftop Above Commercial Office Building / 43,000 sq. ft.
Team: Jerry Caldari, President, Bromley Caldari Architects P.C.; Ben Flanner, President, Brooklyn Grange; Jeff Rosenblum, Managing Member, Acumen Capital Partners
Description: Brooklyn Grange was introduced to Acumen Capital Partners LLC, the owners of the Standard Motor Products Building, in 2010. Brooklyn Grange expressed interest in installing a fully organic rooftop farm at the SMP Building. The building’s roof structure was carefully analyzed to ensure that it was capable of supporting the additional 35-50 pounds per square foot of weight. Bundles of soil were hoisted to the roof via crane where Brooklyn Grange volunteers used small lightweight tools to distribute the soil across the entire 1-acre roof.
A combination of the soil and plant life managed to keep nearly 3,000,000 gallons of rainwater out of the already burdened NYC sewer system since its completion in 2010. In addition to its environmental contributions, the farm at the SMP Building has been visited by over 4,000 schoolchildren, developed an educational curriculum, started an internship program and has evolved into an international research and education hub attracting farmers, scientists, and academics from all over the world.
Ken Fais, Vornado Realty Trust
Project: 1740 Broadway | New York, NY / Commercial Office Building / 580,000 sq. ft.
Team: Carlos Arevalo, Helper, Vornado Realty Trust; Anthony Ioannou, Building Manager, Vornado Realty Trust; Andy Iorio, Lead Engineer, Vornado Realty Trust; Jesus Ramirez, Assistant Chief, Vornado Realty Trust; Gene Rivera, Helper, Vornado Realty Trust
Description: Beginning in 2010 as part of its LEED EBOM certification process and renewed focus on efficiency, the building dramatically stepped up sustainable operations and maintenance practices.
The result? 1740 Broadway has reduced its overall energy intensity, improved its ENERGY STAR rating and recycling rates, and implemented a meaningful tenant engagement program using Vornado’s Energy Information Portal. This project has dramatically changed the amount of control they have in regulating how the building is heated and cooled.
Michael Grew, Progressive Management
Project: Seaside Plaza Apartments | Staten Island, NY / Residential Building / 231,375 sq. ft.
Team: Allan Arker, President, Arker Companies; Hamid Lekic, Mechanical Engineer; Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
Description: In the fall of 2010, Steven Winter Associates, was challenged with the task of significantly reducing energy consumption at this master-metered complex. Located just south of the Verrazano Bridge and within 1,000 feet of the shoreline (and subsequent flooding from Sandy), the project underwent a deep energy retrofit including the installation of cogeneration with automatic backup power. Fortunately the complex did not lose grid power in the days following the storm however; had grid power gone down, the automatic backup capability of the cogeneration unit would have kept the building operational with essential services including heat and hot water.
Final results of the retrofit show significant source energy reduction, mainly due to electricity offset from the cogeneration unit and reduced electricity. Insulation and tightening of the building envelope, a vastly improved control system, and low-flow fixtures also led to reductions in heating and domestic hot water.
John Lalley, Independence LED
Project: Davis & Warshow LED Retrofit | Maspeth, NY / Commercial Office Building / 209,000 sq. ft.
Team: David Finkel, COO, Davis & Warshow; Charlie Szoradi, Chairman and CEO, Independence LED
Description: Davis & Warshow converted its entire Queens distribution center from fluorescent tubes to LED lighting. The company has the largest single-facility LED tube installation with the most energy efficient lighting in watts per-square-foot in the U.S. to date. Additionally, it is the country’s first facility to achieve net-zero lighting costs with LED tubes thanks to a rooftop solar array that produces more than the 200,000 annual kWh required to power the lighting.
On top of the massive energy reduction, the new lighting dramatically increased light levels while providing flicker-free clean light for an overall better work environment. Employees mentioned a lift in productivity and overall mood because the workspaces were brighter and more functional.
Elizabeth Majkowski, SL Green Realty Corp.
Project: SL Green Real Time Energy Management System | New York, NY / Commercial Office Building / 30 million sq. ft.
Team: Richard Currenti, Director of Engineering, SL Green Realty Corp.; Anthony Malandro, Portfolio Manager, SL Green Realty Corp.; Brock Nigg, President, Integrated Energy Services Corporation
Description: In 2010, SL Green launched a real time energy management system. As NYC’s largest landlord, SL Green was looking for a comprehensive program to respond to demand response/curtailment opportunities. The result was a web-based moment-to-moment energy monitoring system at each building, consisting of 34 commercial office properties capable of tracking total building energy use. As the program continued to mature, additional capabilities emerged, including historic tracking and system alarms (steam trap monitoring) to provide a unique comprehensive data tool for SL Green and its employees.
SL Green has also integrated this system to address industry requirements including NYC Local Law Energy Benchmarking. SL Green also continues to explore new opportunities including meeting future NYC local laws such as tenant sub-metering and assistance with future energy procurement. Utilizing technological advancement to provide building data has been an integral component of the SL Green sustainability program and serves as a cutting-edge tool to provide both economic and environmental benefits.
Gregory Sherman, Bright Power, Inc.
Project: Pinewood Hall | Roselle, NJ / Residential Building / 116,945 sq. ft.
Team: Joseph Abitante, Jr., Board President, Pinewood Hall; Michael Cohen, Maintenance Director, Coughlin Management; Amalia Cuadra, Senior Energy Engineer, Bright Power; Sean Nelson, Project Manager, EVCO Mechanical; Michael Winters, Property Manager, Coughlin Management
Description: n 2010, Bright Power worked together with residents and management to undertake a comprehensive energy audit of Pinewood Hall, a 171-unit senior citizens residence. The audit provided the residents of Pinewood Hall with the information necessary to slash management’s operating expenses and improve the livability of the building for residents. Action items included overhauling the exhaust ventilation system, retrofitting common area lighting, and insulating domestic hot water pipes.
Twelve months following the retrofit, Bright Power performed a weather-adjusted post-retrofit analysis showing that Pinewood Hall had successfully reduced source energy intensity. Furthermore, management and residents reported a marked improvement in air quality and light levels. By keeping the residents, management, and maintenance staff engaged in the process from start to finish, the occupants of Pinewood Hall will have the knowledge and the know-how to maintain the energy savings for years to come.
Denni Skelly, Liberty Property Trust
Project: Reflections II | Virginia Beach, VA / Commercial Office Building / 76,890 sq. ft.
Team: Craig Cope, Vice President, City Manager, Liberty Property Trust; Matt Long, Tenant Services Technician, Liberty Property Trust; Michelle Swain, Property Manager, Liberty Property Trust
Description: Plans to improve the energy efficiency of 200 Golden Oak kicked off with the installation of a building wide area network (BWAN), which allowed property managers to monitor the building’s energy consumption. This technology enabled Dennis and his team to address energy waste immediately, rather than waiting for the utility bill to arrive (and making adjustments after the fact). The value of the project is optimized by combining energy conservation measures with a concerted focus on communicating continuously.
The team’s successful energy efficiency strategy has led to a 24% reduction in energy consumption. Beginning in 2012, the team also elected to offset 100% of its energy consumption with renewable energy credits! With the improvements gained by this project, Liberty is pursuing LEED EBOM Gold certification.
The winners will be announced at the June 19 awards show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. For more information on the finalists, please visit here.