Modernizing Building Infrastructure for the Environmental Realities of the 21st Century
The passage of the long-overdue national infrastructure bill shone a light on the advanced age and desperate need to modernize the infrastructure in the United States. In addition to discussions of modernizing bridges, tunnels, subways, and ports, New York is aiming to decarbonize and combat the effects of climate change through a raft of programs and laws designed to drive energy efficiency. New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) of 2019 enacted sweeping legislation to set aggressive goals for reducing carbon emissions and slowing the impact of climate change. But what does that mean for your New York City multifamily building?
If your building dates from the 1960s and 1970s or earlier, you are dealing with the effects of aging, inefficient infrastructure. Building electrification for systems like HVAC and domestic hot water (DHW) is a highly incentivized way to improve the comfort of your tenants and help build a more sustainable energy future for your community. Learn more about building electrification options for modernizing your New York building below.
Building electrification will boost energy efficiency with modern systems and reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. Replacing aging gas and fuel-based heating and hot water systems with electricity-based or geothermal systems will reduce the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Much like in the EV world, electrification today still relies on an electric grid that partly runs on fossil fuel. But as the electric grid modernizes to alternative energy sources like wind and solar, building electrification solutions will allow building owners to maximize the environmental benefits.
Modernizing HVAC Systems
Electrification of HVAC systems can reduce operating costs, improve reliability, and increase comfort for building tenants. Solutions such as packaged terminal heat pumps (PTHP) increase efficiency, are easily retrofitted with minor disruption, and provide independent temperature control to each dwelling unit. PTHP systems can be mounted on exterior walls and replace existing fan coil units without the need to replace hydronic piping.
Efficient Hot Water Solutions
Heat pumps for hot water systems can be installed on building rooftops and provide more efficient heating for domestic hot water. The heat pump works like a typical refrigerator but in reverse. The heat pump pulls heat in from the surrounding air and transfers it at a higher temperature into the water tank. Electric heating replaces older, less efficient steam-based and gas-fired hot water systems. These systems are heavily incentivized by the NYSERDA Clean Heat program and will help buildings comply with the stringent carbon emission requirements of New York City Local Law 97.
Hybrid geothermal heat pump systems can be another solution for meeting heating, cooling, and hot water needs. Depending on the building’s size and land footprint, geothermal solutions can be financially attractive, and may provide stronger energy savings over the long term. Geothermal solutions draw heat from the ground in winter and remove warm air from indoors during the summer months. For added efficiency and reduced wear and tear, desuperheaters are added to the heat exchangers that use superheated gasses from the heat pump compressor to heat water. This hot water method can be used in tanked systems as well as on-demand systems.
Vanguard Building Solutions helps condominium boards, associations, coops and other commercial buildings navigate the complex path toward building electrification, for improved energy efficiency and compliance with New York’s climate related directives and goals. As a full-service, design-build energy services company, we have the expertise and staff to supply turnkey energy solutions, including complete project financing options, with full incentives and rebate management. Call (856) 406-4880 or fill out our contact form to get in touch with us. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.