How One NYC Co-Op Is Making a Low-Carbon Future Possible
Is a low-carbon future possible for New York’s Condo and Co-Op community?
The answer is a resounding yes. It is true that to ensure a better, healthier quality of life for future generations and to meet the emissions goals necessary to help mitigate the effects of climate change, it has to be. Condo and Co-op communities throughout New York are showcasing their dedication firsthand, proving that lowering our buildings’ carbon emissions is a realistic path forward, one commitment at a time.
One clear example of this is the International Tailoring Company Building, a 173-unit, pre-war high-rise building built in 1920. The Co-op’s board was motivated to pursue a path to carbon neutrality by both the desire to get ahead of the curve when it came to Local Law 97 compliance and the fact that its heating and cooling systems and water heating equipment were coming to the end of their useful lives. This meant that system upgrades were looming in the near future regardless, making it all the more reasonable to leverage the need to upgrade as an opportunity to simultaneously improve comfort and kick-start decarbonization efforts.
Just as important as all the above was the board’s overall sense of social responsibility for its residents and community, making its members more than ready to take action to lower emissions.
And it wasn’t just the board that was in favor of pursuing a path to decarbonization. A survey of residents prior to the project getting started indicated that 40 percent of respondents were in favor of the cleaner, more energy efficient upgrades.
Through NYSERDA’s Low Carbon Pathways Program, as well as through the NYS Clean Heat Program , the board is working with New York State, Con Edison, and Ecosystem-Energy (the project’s energy service provider) to take the critical step of decarbonizing both the heating and cooling systems and the domestic hot water systems. Through these programs, the board is replacing existing centralized heating and cooling systems with in-unit water-to-water heat pumps and is partially transitioning the centralized domestic hot water (natural gas-operated) with nine centralized air-to-water heat pumps.
The board has faced its share of twists and turns—from supply chain availability to ensuring the project path is one that makes the most financial sense for residents, board members, and the property itself. Even so, the project is on track for a 2023 completion and is set to be one of several models showcasing the impact that the Condo and Co-op community can have in lowering carbon emissions, improving overall quality of life, and ensuring a brighter, healthier, and more sustainable future for New Yorkers.
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