Dunn Beulah NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Program
Comprising 18 multifamily buildings in the Bronx, the aging Beulah portfolio had not undergone any capital improvements since a renovation over 20 years ago. In accordance with NYSERDA’s MPP Fast Track program, Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA) developed a comprehensive energy reduction plan to rehabilitate the properties and preserve their affordability for current and future residents. SWA worked with the developer, architects, and contractors to ensure adherence to design and project requirements. Post-retrofit energy consumption has since been tracked to evaluate and better understand the actual impact when compared to projections.
Crafting the scope of work for Beulah’s building mix required extensive onsite examination, thorough analysis of utility data, and assessment of all major mechanical systems. Critical recommendations included installation of high-efficiency boilers with storage tanks, variable speed circulation pumps, and the application of an innovative outboard closed cell spray foam for roof insulation and air sealing. To augment the effectiveness of these improvements, hot water pipe insulation and exterior penetration air-sealing was performed building wide. Tenants continue to directly benefit from replacement of major kitchen appliances with ENERGY STAR® certified models. Additional improvements were implemented through a Con Edison energy efficiency program, including the installation of LED lighting, low-flow fixtures, thermostatic radiator valves, and indoor temperature feedback for heating control.
Realized source energy savings between 2012 and 2016 were 27% on average, with some buildings seeing savings as high as 46%. This data does not include apartment electric usage as residents are direct metered for electricity. Fuel Use Intensity (measured in kBTU per square foot of natural gas used for space heating and domestic hot water) was reduced by 43% on average.
The Dunn Beulah portfolio has demonstrated that a simple, repeatable work scope can be deployed across a large portfolio with confidence, and that projected energy savings can be realized. The implications for deploying such a scope at a city scale are important, as there are thousands of buildings across New York City similar to the Beulah portfolio with the potential to reduce energy consumption.