Launch Slideshow

EBie Finalists

Awards program recognizes energy-efficient existing buildings.

EBie Finalists

Awards program recognizes energy-efficient existing buildings.

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    Project: 919 3rd Ave, New York City
    Finalist: Jay Black, SL Green Realty Corp.
    Property Type: Commercial Office Building

    SL Green launched a portfolio-wide, 21-property retrofit initiative resulting in huge energy savings and reduced overall heat load on existing HVAC equipment. In total, this project saves 902,498 kWh annually, which is equal to a savings of $171,475 per year. Prior to the project completion, the building lighting engineer spent 4.5 hours per week to replace the lobby lighting alone. The additional time benefits now allow building staff to focus on other critical building needs, improving overall building performance.

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    Project: 360 Hamilton Avenue, White Plains, N.Y.
    Finalist: John Barnes, SL Green Realty Corp.
    Property Type: Commercial Office Building

    The building, an abandoned AT&T facility, was upgraded to a first class property for its Fortune 500 tenants through a multi-million dollar repositioning. The upgraded HVAC infrastructure set the stage for ongoing improvements over time and allowed the property to receive the Energy Star label.

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    Project: SL Green Real Time Energy Management System, New York City
    Finalist: Elizabeth Majkowski, SL Green Realty Corp.
    Property Type: Commercial Office Building

    In 2010, SL Green launched a real-time energy management system. As NYC’s largest landlord, the company was looking for a comprehensive program to respond to demand response/curtailment opportunities. The result was a web-based moment-to-moment energy monitoring system at each building, consisting of 34 commercial office properties capable of tracking total building energy use. As the program continued to mature, additional capabilities emerged, including historic tracking and system alarms (steam trap monitoring) to provide a unique comprehensive data tool for SL Green and its employees. SL Green has also integrated this system to address industry requirements including NYC Local Law Energy Benchmarking.

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    Project: Seaside Plaza Apartments, Staten Island, N.Y.
    Finalist: Ryan Merkin, Steven Winter Associates
    Property Type: Residential Building

    In the fall of 2010, Steven Winter Associates was challenged with the task of significantly reducing energy consumption at this master-metered complex. Located just south of the Verrazano Bridge and within 1,000 feet of the shoreline (and subsequent flooding from Sandy), the project underwent a deep energy retrofit including the installation of cogeneration with automatic backup power. Fortunately the complex did not lose grid power in the days following the storm however; had grid power gone down, the automatic backup capability of the cogeneration unit would have kept the building operational with essential services including heat and hot water.

    Final results of the retrofit show significant source energy reduction, mainly due to electricity offset from the cogeneration unit and reduced electricity. Insulation and tightening of the building envelope, a vastly improved control system, and low-flow fixtures also led to reductions in heating and domestic hot water.

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    Project: Pinewood Hall, Roselle, N.J.
    Finalist: Greg Sherman, Bright Power Inc.
    Property Type: Residential Building

    In 2010, Bright Power worked together with residents and management to undertake a comprehensive energy audit of Pinewood Hall, a 171-unit senior residence. The audit provided the residents of Pinewood Hall with the information necessary to slash management’s operating expenses and improve the livability of the building for residents. Action items included overhauling the exhaust ventilation system, retrofitting common area lighting, and insulating domestic hot water pipes. Twelve months following the retrofit, Bright Power performed a weather-adjusted post-retrofit analysis showing that Pinewood Hall had successfully reduced source energy intensity. Furthermore, management and residents reported a marked improvement in air quality and light levels.

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    Project: Reflections II, Virginia Beach, Va.
    Finalist: Dennis Skelly, Liberty Property Trust
    Property Type: Commercial Office Building

    Plans to improve the energy efficiency of 200 Golden Oak kicked off with the installation of a building wide area network (BWAN), which allowed property managers to monitor the building’s energy consumption. This technology enabled the project team to address energy waste immediately, rather than waiting for the utility bill to arrive (and making adjustments after the fact). The value of the project is optimized by combining energy conservation measures with a concerted focus on communicating continuously. The team’s successful energy efficiency strategy has led to a 24% reduction in energy consumption. With the improvements gained by this project, Liberty is pursuing LEED EBOM Gold certification.

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    Alex S. MacLean

    Project: Standard Motor Products Building, Long Island City, N.Y.
    Finalist: Ashish Dua, Acumen Capital Partners – Brooklyn Grange, Long Island City, NY
    Property Type: Commercial Office Building Rooftop

    A fully organic rooftop farm has kept nearly 3 million gallons of rainwater out of the already burdened New York City sewer system since its completion in 2010. In addition to its environmental contributions, the farm has been visited by over 4,000 schoolchildren and has evolved into an international research and education hub attracting farmers, scientists, and academics from all over the world.

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    Project: 1740 Broadway, New York City
    Finalist: Ken Fais, Vornado Realty Trust
    Property Type: Commercial Office Building 

    Beginning in 2010 as part of its LEED EBOM certification process and renewed focus on efficiency, building management dramatically stepped up sustainable operations and maintenance practices. The result has been a reduction in overall energy intensity, an improved Energy Star rating (from 79 to 90) and recycling rates, and implementation of a meaningful tenant engagement program using Vornado's Energy Information Portal. This project has dramatically changed the amount of control tenants have in regulating how the building is heated and cooled. The building is now poised to recertify its LEED EBOM certification at the Gold or Platinum level next year.

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    Project: Davis & Warshow LED Retrofit, Maspeth, N.Y.
    Finalist: John Lalley, Independence LED
    Property Type: Commercial Office Building

    Kitchen and bath products dealer Davis & Warshow converted its Queens distribution center from fluorescent tubes to LED lighting. It is now the largest single-facility LED tube installation with the most energy-efficient lighting in watts per-square-foot in the U.S. Additionally, it is the country’s first facility to achieve net-zero lighting costs with LED tubes thanks to a rooftop solar array that produces more than the 200,000 annual kWh required to power the lighting. On top of the massive energy reduction, the new lighting dramatically increased light levels while providing flicker-free clean light for an overall better work environment. Employees noted a lift in productivity and overall mood because the workspaces were brighter and more functional.

The Urban Green Council, the New York City Chapter of the USGBC, has announced the 2013 finalists of its performance-based building awards.

Unlike other award programs, the EBies are based on measurable improvements in the performance of existing buildings such as offices, multifamily developments, and warehouses. Honorees include building owners, managers and operators, auditors, commissioning agents, lighting designers and plumbing engineers.

“We’re thrilled to see growing awareness that improving existing buildings is the most crucial step we can take in achieving sustainability,” says Urban Green Council executive director Russell Unger. “The people making these improvements are still largely unrecognized and we want to change that.”

While many building owners see energy conservation tactics as daunting and pricey, many of this year’s finalists implemented relatively simple, low-cost improvements. “The resulting changes in energy reduction are just incredible,” says jury chair Duane Desiderio of the Real Estate Roundtable.

Entries were accepted in eight categories including operations and maintenance excellence, energy savings, best lighting retrofit, and green renovation innovation. Finalists, shown in the slide show above, were selected by a panel of jurors composed of leaders in real estate, sustainability, finance, architecture, academia, and government. The winners will be announced at the June 19 awards show in New York City.