BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 16

FEATURE: 80 X 50 STRATEGIES IN NYC

BETTER STEAM HEAT:
GENERATING STEAM
SYSTEM UPGRADES
IN NEW YORK CITY
BY ALI LEVINE

PEER-REVIEWED
BY MINA AGARABI, PE

W

inter in New York City comes with
many familiar sights and sounds:
the tree lighting at Rockefeller
Center, sizzling chestnuts on snowy
evenings - and radiators banging
and hissing all day and night. Seventy percent of
large buildings1 in New York City have steam heating
distribution systems that boil water on-site to
create steam, which is distributed through pipes to

units to provide heat. Many of these systems were
installed decades ago and have not been upgraded
or properly maintained since then. The result is often
overheated apartments, banging pipes and radiators
and a significant waste of energy.
New York City has set out to tackle this problem
through the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, a program
launched by the NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability
in 2015 that provides free, personalized advisory
services to streamline the process of making energy
efficiency improvements. The Retrofit Accelerator
does not provide direct incentives, but rather
one-on-one assistance to help building decision
makers understand their options in the market
and to connect them with available resources.
In December 2016, the NYC Retrofit Accelerator
launched a "Better Steam Heat" campaign to educate,
motivate and guide building decision makers to
complete steam heating system upgrades that will
make residents more comfortable, save on utility
costs and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

WHY STEAM HEATING?
New York City has committed to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050
(80 x 50) as part of OneNYC, the City's long-term
plan to address sustainability, resiliency, equity and
growth. In order to meet the 80 x 50 commitment,
the City completed a comprehensive study of NYC's
building stock, which accounts for nearly 70 percent
of the city's greenhouse gas emissions. This analysis
found that the energy used to provide space heating
and domestic hot water is responsible for over half
of the emissions from large buildings, and that a
majority of these buildings have steam heating
distribution systems that use more energy on
average than other types of heating systems.
The study found that comprehensively upgrading
all steam heating systems in the city would lead
to a five percent reduction in building-based
emissions. Of the nearly 100 potential energy
efficiency measures analyzed, these emissions
FIGURE 1: NYC RETROFIT ACCELERATOR BETTER STEAM HEAT CAMPAIGN MARKETING. were identified as the single largest potential2
reduction opportunity.
PHOTO CREDIT: NYC MAYOR'S OFFICE, NYC RETROFIT ACCELERATOR.
16 * BUILDINGENERGY VOL. 36 NO. 2 | FALL 2017



BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017

From the Executive Director: A strategic plan for emerging professionals.
From the Board Chair: Taking flight into new territory.
What is Strategic Electrification? Simply Put, It’s an Energy Transformation: A core pathway to deep carbon reduction.
Better Steam Heat: Generating steam system upgrades in New York City.
Going All the Way:What it will really take to achieve net zero energy in Burlington, VT.
Are You Forging the Weakest Link?: A deeper dive into how the quest for resilience alters the design process.
Air Quality in Your Bedroom: Nighttime Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Bedrooms of 22 Vermont Homes: Can occupants of leaky houses breathe easy in their sleep?
Inclusive Diversity Key to Sustainability: Opinion: Sustainability planning must embrace diversity.
BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines: An interview with Jonathan Orpin.
High Performance Walls: Discover an alternative to traditional insulation methods that can reach superior insulation performance with thinner walls.
SAF®– A Solar Faade to Stay?: A technical overview of the newest attachment systems in the low-energy construction market.
NESEA Green Pages: This premier resource for sustainability professionals in the Northeast and beyond is just a few pages away. To have your business listed in next year’s Green Pages and become a NESEA business member today, visit nesea.org/join.
Index to Advertisers
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Intro
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - cover1
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - cover2
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 3
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 4
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 5
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - From the Executive Director: A strategic plan for emerging professionals.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 7
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - From the Board Chair: Taking flight into new territory.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 9
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - What is Strategic Electrification? Simply Put, It’s an Energy Transformation: A core pathway to deep carbon reduction.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 11
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 12
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 13
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 14
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 15
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Better Steam Heat: Generating steam system upgrades in New York City.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 17
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 18
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 19
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - INSERT1
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - INSERT2
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Going All the Way:What it will really take to achieve net zero energy in Burlington, VT.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 21
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 22
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 23
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Are You Forging the Weakest Link?: A deeper dive into how the quest for resilience alters the design process.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 25
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 26
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 27
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 28
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 29
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Air Quality in Your Bedroom: Nighttime Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Bedrooms of 22 Vermont Homes: Can occupants of leaky houses breathe easy in their sleep?
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 31
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 32
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 33
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Inclusive Diversity Key to Sustainability: Opinion: Sustainability planning must embrace diversity.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 35
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines: An interview with Jonathan Orpin.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 37
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - High Performance Walls: Discover an alternative to traditional insulation methods that can reach superior insulation performance with thinner walls.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 39
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 40
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 41
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - SAF®– A Solar Faade to Stay?: A technical overview of the newest attachment systems in the low-energy construction market.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 43
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 44
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 45
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 46
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 47
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - NESEA Green Pages: This premier resource for sustainability professionals in the Northeast and beyond is just a few pages away. To have your business listed in next year’s Green Pages and become a NESEA business member today, visit nesea.org/join.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 49
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BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 75
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 76
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Index to Advertisers
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 78
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - cover3
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - cover4
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert1
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert2
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert3
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BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert6
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