Wartburg Nursing Home

Wartburg is a 230-bed nursing home located in Brooklyn, New York. It offers a wide array of social services from two adjacent buildings surrounding a courtyard. It was clear from the outset that the best way to address the deteriorated state of the antiquated boiler rooms would be to start with a clean slate. This was an expensive proposition, but an Energy Concepts feasibility study projected large gains in operational efficiencies by installing the CHP plant. The efficiency gains generated the cash flow that allowed management to finance a new HVAC plant.

Instead of two boiler rooms, the new CHP and HVAC system are housed in a central plant, saving space and labor. Three CHP modules with a combined output of 225kW supply electricity to the buildings. A digital control system manages output to follow demand for optimal operation, and on most days the facility imports less than 5% from the grid. Three large-capacity insulated water tanks provide thermal storage. A small gas boiler to supplement the generators on the coldest days and a new electrical service completed the scope.

Faxton St. Lukes Healthcare

Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare is a regional medical center in Utica, New York. The center’s campus comprises of a large hospital, a nursing facility and several administrative and out-patient facilities. It is located in close proximity to Utica College.

The CHP plant features Cummings gas-fired cogeneration sets. The plant supplies its thermal output to a central steam plant. The electrical output is allocated to the 3 adjacent entities – 2.2MW to the main hospital building, 1.1MW to Utica College, and 330 kW to the nursing and rehabilitation center.

The plant is capable of selling electricity to the grid, and will be able to provide back-up power in case of a grid failure. The plant received about $1 million in grants from NYSERDA.

Red Hook Stores

The Red Hook Stores was originally built as a 400,000 SF granary on the New York waterfront before the civil war. By the 1980’s most shipping left New York for larger facilities in New Jersey, and then the empty facility fell into disrepair.

After four years of intensive renovation, the 150 year old building was reborn as a seven-story mixed-use complex. The two bottom floors are home to New York’s Fairway market. The two floors above are offices and the remaining floors are high-end residences.

Energy Concepts worked closely with the developer, architect and main commercial tenant to design the optimal system for the building. The result is a state of the art HVAC system centered around an ultra-efficient 1MW cogeneration plant.The engineering scope included a new electrical service, an 8,000 Btu boiler plant, and XX 300 ton absorption chillers.  The CHP generators, boilers and absorbers are housed in an unobtrusive remote structure for easy maintenance.The innovation extended to the financial aspect of the project as well.  The integrated CHP/HVAC plant has been structured and is operated as a standalone business entity.  Its electricity, heating and cooling output is metered and sold to the tenants, generating significant cash flow.

The Red Hook Stores serve notice that there’s no conflict between enterprise and the environment. When done with creativity and innovation, environmentally responsible development yields benefits for the bottom line and the planet.

Hudson Valley Community College

Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), located in Troy, New York, is part of the SUNY system. Its 90-acre campus serves 13,500 students, offering over 70 degree and certificate programs in Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Liberal Arts. The campus houses large community facilities – the McDonough Sports Complex, the Conway Ice Rink and a 34,500 sq. ft. of exhibition space.

As part of its drive to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint, HVCC built an efficient and novel 6.5MW combined heat & power plant that uses methane gas from a nearby landfill. Methane is produced during the decomposition of trash, and is an especially damaging greenhouse gas. In most municipal landfills, methane is either flared or vented into the atmosphere. The environmental benefit of the HVCC plant is twofold – it is very efficient and it also provides a far cleaner way to consume the methane before it impacts the atmosphere.

The methane is transported from the landfill via a 3,100-foot pipeline buried along the outskirts of the campus. Once at the plant, it is mixed with natural gas to facilitate a clean, complete and odorless combustion process. The plant consists of five Caterpillar generators. Three CHP units are rated at 825kW, 1,350kW and 770kW. Their hot water output is used for space heating and domestic hot water. Two additional generators rated at 1,350kW (gas) and 2,250kW (diesel) provide backup power capability.

HVCC pays for the methane, providing a source of income for the city of Troy.

According to the EPA the project reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 36,000 cars from the roadways annually.

HVCC plans to use the facility as part of its Plant Utilities Technology program, where students will gain valuable first-hand experience and training as future plant operators.

Powering recovery from Sandy

Rochester Business Journal

By Andrea Deckert:

The company’s power plant at a co-op residential building in Manhattan kept the power on for more than four days in the aftermath of Sandy. The power plant was designed as a cogeneration plant to provide economic savings to the building, but it also served as backup power.

Joe Weinschreider, Energy Concepts’ senior engineer and one of the company’s founders, designed the 400-kilowatt cogeneration system for the building at 11 Fifth Ave. in 2009 with the intent to provide the entire building with power during a blackout.

He estimates there are 720 regular tenants in the building, and during the storm, the number of people in the building rose to roughly 1,500. People came from other parts of Manhattan, along with Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester, Weinschreider said.

“The fact that the 20-story building had heat, electricity and—most important—water was huge,” he said. “Other nearby buildings ran out of water, and without pumps to deliver it up the high-rises, tenants could not even use bathrooms.”

Founded in 1999, Energy Concepts specializes in cogeneration and on-site power and has designed more than 75 cogeneration plants. The firm has plants at the Greater Rochester International Airport and several school buildings in Greece, and most recently it completed a 2.2-megawatt cogeneration plant for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica.

Energy Concepts employs 16 workers—including 13 in Rochester—and has additional offices in New York City and New Jersey.

“It’s always good to help our clients save money and energy, but when our systems can help during catastrophic events, that makes it even better,” Weinschreider said.

Click here for full article

For additional reading, visit www.rbj.net.



The Toren Condominium Tower

The Toren is the most environmentally advanced large residential building in New York, and perhaps the US. This 37 story, 263,750 sq. ft. high-rise consisted of 240 apartments and commercial units. It was developed by BFC Partnership, and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. BFC and SOM turned to Energy Concepts to design an innovative space conditioning system that would not interfere with the floor-to-ceiling glass envelope, while using the least amount of energy. The result are apartments that feature breathtaking views of NY Harbor and a LEED Gold certification.

At the heart of the building’s mechanical system is a super-efficient, ultra-clean 500kW tri-generation plant. The gas–fired plant generates electricity, heating and cooling, and is capable of providing back up power during blackouts. The plant’s remarkable efficiency results in reducing the building’s carbon footprint by almost 1,000 tons of CO2 a year, and annual energy cost savings of $540,000. The plant is operated as a stand-alone business entity, and its output is metered and sold to the condos. The Toren’s power plant features five Tecogen InVerde100 units. This inverter-based cogeneration unit is grid-connected yet is able to keep operating in “Island Mode” to supply power during blackouts.

The Toren Condominium Tower achieves LEED Gold certification

By Liana Grey at Real Estate Weekly:

“…a handful of new developments, particularly condos, are playing up LEED certification as a primary selling point. “The feedback I’ve gotten is that a lot of buyers will only look at green buildings,” said Marco Auteri, director of sales at the Toren, a condo tower in Downtown Brooklyn on track for LEED Gold.

On the building’s website, energy-efficient features like a cogeneration plant are listed under a tab labeled “responsibility.”

But it’s really the health benefits of green living (and the prospect of a healthy long-term investment) that have been a draw.

One buyer, Auteri said, was looking to upgrade from a dusty pre-war apartment, and had narrowed his search to green buildings. “Just from spending 20 minutes here, he noticed a difference in air quality,” Auteri said. “Our apartments are like zip-lock bags, sealed off from one to the other.” Cigarette smoke and other fumes can’t pass between units, and as a bonus, vents above each doorway filter in fresh air.

These and other green features are bound to impact resale value down the road, buyers believe. “The trend is that all buildings are going green,” said Auteri. “You don’t want to be stuck in a building that’s not.”
Buyers at the Toren, which is about 80% sold, are willing to pay a premium for filtered air and energy efficiency, he said. Otherwise, “in ten years, when you sell, you lose a bit of an edge.”

When sales slowed during the recession, details like low-VOC paint fell off the radar. “In 2009, green wasn’t so much a deciding factor as price,” Auteri said.

Now, eco-marketing is making a comeback in Brooklyn, as inventory shrinks and environmentally conscious buyers continue to stream into the borough.

With its major thoroughfares, office towers, and shopping centers, the borough’s commercial center may seem an unlikely hot spot as a green zone.

But down the block from the Toren, which sits on Flatbush Avenue near the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge, an abandoned lot filled with shipping containers is being transformed into a flea market. Each container will serve as a makeshift stall for food and other products.

Across the street from the market, two dilapidated brick buildings will soon be demolished and replaced with a park, Auteri said. An organic supermarket is leasing a storefront at the Toren’s base, and a handful of LEED-certified rental buildings, including the Brooklyner, have opened in the neighborhood.”

To read more of this article, please visit Real Estate Weekly.

For additional reading, see the Toren Condo official website.