Post-War 8+ Stories

This playbook summarizes retrofit strategies that maximize occupant comfort and energy savings through a transition from fuel to electricity- based heating, cooling and hot water systems. Aligned with typical capital improvement cycles, the recommendations will prepare buildings for increasingly stringent efficiency and carbon emissions targets through careful phasing of work across all major building components, including upgrades to exterior walls, windows, and ventilation systems.

Post-War Mid- and High-Rises
are typically between 8 and 25 floors in height and can be found in virtually every context–from lot line buildings, to free standing buildings on campuses. Many buildings of this type include mixed uses at the ground floor, such as retail (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.) and commercial offices (Doctor’s offices, etc.). Basic tenant amenities are common, such as laundry, gym, and storage.

The building selected for the featured case study is a 15-story, market-rate residential building on a small campus of nearly identical buildings in Brooklyn, New York. Constructed in 1950, the building has masonry exterior walls enclosing 163 apartments across 123,000 gross square feet.

Energy Use

For this building type, heating is by far the dominant energy end use and, therefore, retrofit measures that directly reduce heating demand—such as envelope improvements—are essential to realizing a low carbon future and avoiding penalties like those included in Local Law 97.

Targets & Phasing

The phasing order shown below is one of many optional pathways available. While implementing envelope measures early maximizes energy efficiency long term, many other factors may determine which measures should be completed in which order–including end of life equipment replacement, tenant disruption and access to capital.

Efficiency Recommendations

The options for improvement listed here will maximize occupant comfort and energy savings through a transition from fuel to electricity-based heating, cooling and hot water systems. Aligned with typical capital improvement cycles, these strategies will prepare buildings for increasingly stringent efficiency and carbon emissions targets.

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