How NYC Apartment Building Saves $40K Annually with HVAC Monitoring
201 East 79th Street is a high-rise building in New York from the sixties. Following a major upgrade project, the building board optimized its HVAC system. They turned to Software Provider, Parity to provide an advanced control system using tiny temperature sensors from Disruptive Technologies.
The sensors were installed throughout the building to control the heating and cooling systems. In addition to immediate savings in energy bills, resulting in an ROI after only two years, the building has also reduced its carbon footprint and is now below the threshold for Local Law 97, avoiding the risk of significant fines over years to come.
Reducing Carbon Footprint To Be Local Law 97 Compliant
An inspection of the building on East 79th Street in 2017 revealed safety issues with the façade. The entire façade was refurbished. The wall insulation was improved, the windows changed, and the HVAC automation system was upgraded to improve tenant well-being.
A climate mobilization act, Local Law 97 (LL97), mandates that buildings must reduce their carbon footprint by 2030. This law places carbon caps on structures larger than 25,000 square feet — applying to nearly 50,000 buildings across NYC. It will go into effect in 2024 and is driving building owners to evaluate possible approaches to meet its requirements.
The changes to the 201 East 79th Street building mean it is now below the threshold for LL97 until at least 2034.
Real-Time HVAC Optimization
There has been a change recently in how building managers look at achieving energy efficiency as an understanding of the importance grows, and technology makes it easier.
Floors 1-10 and 11-20 of the Manhattan building are heated with two different systems. It was necessary to synchronize them to improve control.
Parity controls set points for heating, cooling, and ventilation systems in large apartment buildings and hotels. The Manhattan building was a perfect candidate for its services: a vintage construction with a board focused on energy efficiency.
The Parity Solution
While traditional Building Management Systems monitor and display data, the Parity team has developed a solution that adjusts heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment in real-time based on demand in the building.
This solution consists of Parity's control software, support, and a dashboard that offers trend analysis and an overview of adjustments made. Parity integrates with local building controls and streams that data to the cloud platform. After the analytics, real-time adjustments are sent back to the systems. Residents and facility managers can see what's happening in the building anytime via an app.
The Parity solution achieved an ROI of 21 months, with direct, easy-to-measure savings from reduced gas and electricity bills.
The Disruptive Technologies Wireless Temperature Sensors
A critical aspect of residential projects is that they're people's homes. Sensor design and placement are significant concerns.
Parity needed a sensor that was small enough to be non-obtrusive and flexible in terms of placement. They chose Disruptive Technologies Wireless Temperature Sensors. The ease of integration with their existing system, sensor accuracy, long battery life, and small size provided the perfect solution for the residential building.
How the System Saves Over $40K Annually
Temperature sensors are placed around the building. The data from the sensors is fed into Parity control algorithms, which adjust heating and cooling systems to optimize and save energy. The software platform generates insights about what is happening in the living spaces so that the system can tweak the control algorithms and push for more savings without impacting resident comfort.
While initial projections estimated savings of 33,000 USD a year, the rise in energy and utility rates throughout the winter of 2022/3 mean that estimated savings should be closer to 40,000 to 45,000 USD per year.
A Look Into The Future
This project is just one of many similar projects Parity has run that demonstrate the energy and cost savings of automating building systems. This particular project has opened the way for how this can be done in comparable buildings in New York and how this contributes to compliance with the LL97 requirements. Using top-of-the-line sensors that integrate easily with their existing systems was key to this project's success. Our team at Disruptive Technologies is proud to support our partners in creating innovative solutions that offer real value to users with our small wireless sensors.