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Nicole Ceci is a Principal Mechanical Engineer in the Multifamily Group at SWA. She assists clients in meeting energy savings goals in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Ms. Ceci’s building science experience includes design and implementation of high-performance HVAC systems, cogeneration feasibility evaluation, and data analysis of building performance. Since joining SWA over five years ago, Ms. Ceci has completed sustainability services for over 30 million square feet of multifamily buildings. In addition to working with physical buildings, she has also completed citywide studies on New York City energy usage performance for NYCEEC and Fannie Mae, and advises the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability on data-driven approaches to policies promoting multifamily sector energy savings.

Posts by Nicole Ceci

Net Zero and Electrification

Net zero” can mean a lot of different things depending on what you choose to measure – zero energy usage, zero carbon emitted, zero lifecycle impact, etc.

At Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA), we work with clients who are approaching net zero from different angles: driven by institutional goals, climate concerns, marketing campaigns, and connecting with municipal emissions targets. One thing we see over and over is that super high performance is difficult to achieve, but with a key simplification – there are not many ways to do it. All roads may lead to Rome but the closer you get, the fewer roads there are to take.

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Looking for a Fast Payback by Installing a Dedicated Domestic Hot Water System? You May Want to Look Elsewhere

Installing a dedicated domestic hot water (DHW) plant is a common energy conservation measure (ECM) in the New York City multifamily market. According to Local Law 87 data, approximately 80% of the audited multifamily floor area uses steam heating boilers to produce domestic hot water.[1] A recent SWA analysis of data from steam buildings with tankless coils that implemented this ECM suggests that auditors may want to think twice about recommending this measure widely.

Two unsupported arguments are typically made in favor of installing a dedicated DHW system.

  1. A new condensing boiler or water heater (we will just say “water heater” here for simplicity and to distinguish the dedicated system from the heating boiler) will operate at a very high efficiency.
  2. Scotch marine steam boilers are inherently inefficient and are plagued with high standby losses. Large Scotch marine boilers fire to meet small DHW loads, and correctly sizing a new dedicated water heater will eliminate short cycling.

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