NEW YORK, NY - Urban American Management, an owner and manager of apartment buildings in the New York area, has successfully completed a robust array of energy efficiency retrofits in conjunction with New York State Energy Research & Development Authority's Multifamily Performance Program (MPP).
The completion of this work represents a major step in making several of the largest multifamily buildings in New York City more energy efficient while making a very meaningful impact on the environment.
Urban American views an earnest approach to energy efficiency as a "triple-bottom line" gain for any housing community. Not only does it lead to decreased expenses, but it promotes greater affordability of the housing and responsible environmental stewardship. To achieve these energy efficiency goals, Urban American seeks to leverage its own equity with government programs that provide structured tools, processes and incentives to reduce consumption. Urban American's participation in the NYSERDA's Multifamily Performance Program was a natural extension of this strategy.
"UA is working hard to set a high standard in achieving energy efficiency in multifamily housing in New York City," said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. "In most of the buildings, UA went beyond the required level of investment to meet NYSERDA objectives for installation, and we applaud their efforts as they continue to work with NYSERDA and other agencies to achieve even greater energy savings."
Through the MPP, Urban American committed to complete a scope of work projected to improve each building's energy performance by 15-20%. The energy efficiency improvements called, made to more than 2,700 apartments, included:
Advanced meters and submetering
Low-flow water fixtures and aerators in kitchens and bathrooms
Motion and occupancy sensors for certain common area and service lighting
High efficiency lighting in hallways and apartments
Replacement of many refrigerators and other appliances with more efficient models
Insulation, duct sealing, and weather stripping
Urban American has spent over $14 million in the last 5 years upgrading energy systems and installing energy reduction measures throughout their portfolios. In the process, they have created hundreds of new jobs with local contractors and supported the growth of local entrepreneurs like Harlem Greenfit Management which coordinated and managed the projects through completion. In addition, to its work with work with NYSERDA, Urban American has forged strategic community relationships with organizations like the Harlem Community Development Corporation which managed weatherization projects at two of the buildings that completed the MPP Program in order to achieve substantially higher savings than those targeted by the MPP alone.
Urban American continues to invest in energy efficiency and several more projects are in development or underway. These include new NYSERDA MPP scope of work at 3333 Broadway, the largest single multifamily building in New York City, as well as renewable energy and new and innovative technologies that will help property managers optimize building systems and energy management in real time. To ensure that investments achieve savings projections, Urban American is investing in people as well as property. To date, over 50 of its supers and maintenance workers have been enrolled in Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Operator certification classes and they now actively manage to help conserve energy and improve health and safety.
"Sustainability, energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of all of our properties are part of our core values," said Joshua Eisenberg, a principal of Urban American and its director of sustainability. "In addition to conserving energy, Urban American is committed to improving our communities by working with local entrepreneurs, creating jobs and transforming older housing stock into sustainable communities."