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Energy Savings

Summary

1717 East 18th Street, a 100-unit co-op in Brooklyn's Madison neighborhood, took a comprehensive approach to improving their one-pipe steam heating system. Combining the latest in heating controls technology with tried-and-true practices for optimizing existing equipment, the co-op completed a scope of work that significantly improved steam system efficiency, reducing heating fuel use by 22% and cutting utility bills by $11,000 a year. The measures also balanced the building's heat, eliminating hot and cold spots and quieting noisy radiators. Having a champion on the co-op board and building staff support were key to project success.

Green Features

1. Boiler and Burner Tune Ups

2a. Venting Improvements
Heat-Timer Varivalves for radiators

2b. Venting Improvements
Gorton #2 air vents for steam mains

3a. Heating Control System Upgrade
Heat-Timer MPC Platinum RINet controls system, online user interface

3b. Heating Control System Upgrade
Wireless temperature sensor for apartment units

Download the full case study here.




“We were eager to install new boiler controls to balance heat across the building and reduce energy waste. In the process, we learned more about our system, addressed underlying issues, developed a more energy-conscious community of residents, and saved money.”
Dr. Samuel Thomas, President, 1717 E 18th St. Owners Corp.

Building Facts

Project type: One-Pipe Steam Heating System Upgrade
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Year of project completion: 2015
Base building completed: 1957
Building size:
105,000 sf/ 100 units
Building type: Residential co-op

Existing Conditions

Built in 1957, 1717 East 18th Street faced many of the challenges typical in older steam-heated buildings, including: uneven heating with hot and cold spots; overheating with residents opening windows in winter and consequent heating fuel waste; loud, clanging pipes; and occasional radiator leaks.

Process

When the 1717 East 18th Street co-op board first began exploring ways to increase resident comfort and improve the efficiency of their building’s one-pipe steam heating system, installing a new heating control system was at the top of their list. After meeting with a heating contractor, however, the board learned that although new controls could help to reduce boiler run-times, saving fuel and money, a more holistic approach was needed to really improve steam heating system performance.

Benefits

• Balanced flow of steam with more consistent and even heating to all apartments.
• Greater ability to regulate boiler cycles and control building temperature.
• More efficient boiler and burner operation, with energy and fuel cost savings.
• Higher quality steam, quieter radiators, reduced leaking, and longer equipment lifespans.
• Increased occupant comfort and satisfaction.

Lessons Learned

The upgrades completed at 18th Street were relatively straightforward, from a technical perspective. Getting building staff and residents to buy into the proposed scope of work, and later adjusting to changes in apartment temperatures, proved to be a greater challenge. Ongoing communication with residents and staff about the reasons for, and benefits of, the upgrades was essential to getting their support and consent.

Project Team

1717 E 18th Street Cooperative
Project Owner

FirstService Residential
Property Manager

Champion 
Service and Installation

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