Eugene Siterman and Arkady Siterman are principals of energy conservation company VE Solutions. The company’s primary aim is to optimize the design of buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency. Here, they explain some of the projects they have worked on and how to create total system efficiency …
Explain and list your sustainability design optimization in buildings in New York and in the U.S.?
There is so much new technology in the market today, which is more efficient and more sustainable. The important elements we always consider and focus on are the optimization of total system efficiency, not only individual component efficiency.
At times, this involves selecting less efficient individual components for the sake of better efficiency of the total system. At the end of the day, the energy bill equals the the total efficiency of the system.
The Lucida was the first LEED certified building on the Upper East Side. The challenge here was to make this all-glass luxury condo cost-effective, and to minimize energy consumption without compromising the architects and owners’ vision.
As a result, we re-sized and re-arranged equipment and changed the ductwork layout in the apartments.
This was done in such a way that high ceilings in living rooms were preserved, with considerably reduced costs and energy consumption, which contributed to the building’s LEED certification goal. We have also increased the acclaimed usable roof area by optimizing and consolidating equipment on the roof.
Other areas we looked at included proper application of system parameters and calculation methods, utilization of high-efficiency equipment in the right place, optimization of ventilation rates, and utilization of the latest control technologies.
This was also factored into the project in addition to optimizing the most cost and efficient energy recovery systems, etc.
Explain how developers can take advantage of energy efficient systems to reduce costs and increase savings?
A properly sized energy-efficient system is usually leaner and requires less equipment, smaller piping and less ductwork and electrical services.
A smaller footprint of the system increases usable space, thus increasing potential revenue. Well designed energy-efficient systems are also less expensive to operate and maintain.
What are some of the LEED certified buildings you have worked on?
4 Times Square (not LEED, but considered the first Green building in New York), Millennium Tower Residences, Battery Park, The Lucida, International Gem Tower, One 57.
How important is your company’s impact on the industry from the buildings that you have worked on in terms of energy savings, solutions, etc?
Only because a building has earned the LEED rating, it does not necessarily mean it has achieved its maximum potential in energy saving. In fact, we typically we achieve additional 10-15% energy savings on LEED designed buildings (in addition to its original design).
We push engineering expertise and technology to the limit to maximize energy savings, we are not satisfied with merely achieving an LEED rating. Nonetheless, we believe that LEED plays an important role in the industry and our time.
We believe we can achieve more with current technology on each project.
Developers we have worked with previously recognize this and demand it from their design teams. We assist in recognizing missed opportunities and provide solutions taking advantage of what technology has to offer.
How much energy can you save or have saved in a building? How would a developer or investor be tied into this part?
Typically we save 10-15% and have seen savings as high as 30%. Developers and investors who value a long term view in this regard see the benefits each year.
Hotels often share energy expenses with the developer, who would benefit on minimizing energy consumption.
Can you tell us about energy efficiency or sustainability design optimization in the International Gem Tower?
Construction is progressing rapidly at the International Gem Tower which is scheduled for completion in 2012.
It is a very successful project to date of which in my opinion will achieve the targeted 10-15% savings at least. The energy efficiency of the development will be advanced in its design, technology, and constructability.
We have applied many energy-efficient strategies and made sure the systems are right-sized and streamlined in order for us to deliver on our promise.