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Demystifying Steam: Smaller Buildings

Demystifying Steam: Smaller Buildings

Our predictive model sheds light on steam use in smaller multifamily buildings and where to focus on upgrades in the city.

Forty percent of NYC’s carbon emissions come from burning fossil fuels within buildings. We can’t achieve our long-term carbon emissions goal without retroftting or replacing most steam systems in NYC—including those in multifamily buildings smaller than 50,000 square feet. But we have little information about these 53,000 properties, many of which will need to comply with Local Law 97.

Small and medium properties make up over one-third of NYC’s multifamily square footage. Unlike larger buildings (over 50,000 square feet), these properties are not required to conduct energy audits, which means we don’t know much about them. Identifying steam systems in these buildings could reveal important trends and enable the city and contractors to better identify buildings for improvements. Therefore, we developed a model to predict whether individual buildings are steam heated or not.

Predicted steam heat

Download the full brief for a closer look at steam heat in NYC’s small and medium multifamily buildings.