BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 17

Steam heating systems in New York City
are often characterized by oversized boilers,
improperly-vented pipes, too-high boiler pressure
and little ongoing maintenance. This contributes
to imbalanced heating across a building, in turn
resulting in many overheated apartments in an
effort to ensure that no apartments are too cold.
Residents in the overheated apartments open
windows in the middle of winter to cool off - both
a conspicuous waste of heat and major driver
of emissions. Outdated or poorly-maintained
systems also suffer from "water hammer" - steam
being distributed throughout pipes and returning
condensate compete for space, causing the banging
that keeps residents up at night.
Although implementation is not always easy,
there are relatively straightforward solutions to fix
these problems. However, until now, few service
providers in New York City offered them at scale
in the market or as the comprehensive package
necessary to get the best results. At the same time,
customers were not aware that solutions existed
and therefore did not ask for them.
BETTER STEAM HEAT
The NYC Retrofit Accelerator launched the Better
Steam Heat campaign to develop a self-sustaining
local market for steam heating system upgrades. The
campaign includes:
1) defining the necessary upgrades to bring steam
heating systems into working order,
2) developing the local contractor market to be able
to provide these solutions,
3) generating demand for the upgrades among
building owners, operators, and other
decision-makers, and
4) providing ongoing technical guidance to both
contractors and customers to ensure the work is
done properly.
Defining the Upgrades. With assistance
from technical experts, the NYC Mayor's Office
of Sustainability defined a scope of work to
comprehensively upgrade steam heating systems.
The scope includes cleaning and tuning the boiler and
burner; installing boiler controls; adding master vents
to steam piping; installing thermostatic radiator
valves (TRVs) in apartment units; and in two-pipe
buildings, installing orifice places on radiator valves
with TRVs. Completing all measures together is key
to ensure even distribution of heat throughout the
building and efficient use of heating fuel.
Developing the Market. To build the local market,
the Mayor's Office and the Retrofit Accelerator staff
engaged with firms that had staff with relevant
skills and developed training, resources and support
to help build capacity. After interviewing various
types of contractors and potential customers, the
City released a request for qualifications (RFQ)
for heating service firms and heating controls
companies. Customers already rely on heating

FIGURE 2: MEDIAN
HEATING ENERGY USE
INTENSITY BY HEATING
DISTRIBUTION
TYPE (KBTU/SF).
PHOTO CREDIT:
NYC MAYOR'S OFFICE,
LL87 DATA.

service firms to ensure their buildings have adequate
heat throughout the winter. These firms have
staff with the skills necessary to perform work in
both the boiler room and the distribution system,
but were not trained or asked to do so. To become
qualified to provide upgrades, the heating service
firms were required to send lead technicians to a
half-day training and complete on-site assistance
with two projects brought in through the program to
ensure quality installations. In addition, the Retrofit
Accelerator team worked with the city's utilities to
ensure that incentives could cover some or all of the
scope of work. In coordination with the campaign,
Con Edison launched a program that provides rebates
for the majority of the recommended measures for
affordable housing with one-pipe steam systems.
Over 100 buildings have participated in this program
and Con Edison is planning to make a similar offering
available to all customers with steam heating.
Generating Demand. To build demand among
building decision-makers, the NYC Retrofit
Accelerator developed a marketing campaign that
tapped into issues of comfort and energy waste. To
capture the attention of the target audience, the
team developed an engaging concept that builds
on New Yorkers' love-hate relationships with their
heating systems (figure 1). In addition, the Building
Energy Exchange (BE-Ex), a nonprofit partner that
provides resources and a physical center for the
Retrofit Accelerator, developed a playbook for the
upgrades and three case studies. These were paired
with two panel events featuring stakeholders from
the case study buildings, including co-op board
members, engineers, contractors and executive staff
from a large real estate developer.
Technical Guidance. As with all projects assisted
through the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, the program's
team of Efficiency Advisors provide ongoing
assistance from start to finish to help ensure
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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 - 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
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert4
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert5
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert6
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