New York, NY - FirstService Residential received the "Environmental Stewardship Team of the Year" award at the New York Association of Realty Managers (NYARM) annual awards gala held on January 25, 2014.
The award was presented to the company as a result of “FirstService Residential’s overall dedication to the environment and specifically for its exceptional efficiency accomplishments at Brightwater Towers Condominium in Brooklyn,” said Margie Russell, Executive Director, NYARM.
“We are thrilled to receive this award from NYARM,” says Keith Werny, President, FirstService Residential’s CityLine Division, who accepted the award on behalf of the company. “By standing as a strong environmental leader among New York City’s management firms, FirstService Residential is paving the way for others to follow suit, which will result in significant financial savings and environmental benefits for New York City’s residents.”
“FirstService Residential manages more than 500 condo, co-op and rental properties across the five boroughs – more than any other management company. Residential properties produce 37 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in New York City – more than any other building type. As a result, FirstService Residential has a responsibility and a significant opportunity to make a huge impact on energy efficiency across the entire city,” adds Dan Wurtzel, President, FirstService Residential New York.
FirstService Residential’s commitment to conservation prompted the company to form its FS Energy division in 2009 to advise clients of ways to reduce energy costs, consumption and emissions. Since then, the company’s properties have realized nearly $20 million in cost savings while reducing their carbon footprint by 68,630 metric tons, or 15.6 percent.
FirstService Residential was the first property management firm to formally sign on to the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge for Multifamily Buildings, committing to work with the City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a portfolio of its buildings by 30% in just ten years.
At Brightwater Towers Condominium, a two-building complex on the oceanfront in Brooklyn with 734 apartments, the boiler room was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy. A new energy efficient system – which reduced the number of boilers from three to two while increasing overall efficiency – was raised four feet off the ground to maximize resiliency against future storms. The efficiency of the new system qualified the complex to receive a grant worth more than $500,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to help cover the cost of the project.
Brightwater Towers also is currently awaiting grant approval that will make it the first New York City property to install a microgrid – a small scale power grid that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area’s main electrical grid. Microgrids are among the actionable items in proposed in “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” a comprehensive plan issued by New York City post-Sandy that contains recommendations for rebuilding communities and increasing the resilience of the city’s infrastructure.
A central part of this project is the microgrid’s battery, which is sized to meet 125% of the property’s full load needs and which can be infinitely charged and recharged without any degradation. The system is expected to operate in a full blackout for more than six hours at full load. FirstService Residential is also investigating the feasibility of installing solar panels and wind turbines at the property to provide an additional source for recharging the battery.
“On top of all the environmental benefits, Brightwater Towers anticipates saving more than $1 million in electricity costs annually as a result of the micro grid,” says Jeff Hower, the property’s manager and a FirstService Residential Vice President.