High Performance Buildings

A few weeks ago we gave a quick profile of some high rise ICF apartment buildings being built in New York (Queens). Since then we have done some digging of The Andrew, one of first high rises in the group that was occupied and has energy use data available. The great thing about this project is that The Andrew has an ideal comparison set of numbers, since the developer has older non-ICF buildings, built to similar sizes and specs down the street. The results so far have been amazing.

ICF Apartments Profile

The Andrew is a 45,000 sq. ft., 4-story multi-family apartment building with 50 apartment units. Reward 11″ ICFs were used to construct all exterior walls. The owner of the building is responsible for paying heating from the central unit, and each tenant has window A/C units that they are responsible for.

The Andrew is heated by natural gas that heats a boiler system that delivers hot water to a 85% efficient hydronic baseboard units in each apartment.  Each room is zoned separately and the boilers are shut off during the seasonably warmer months.

According to the owner, the construction costs of this building was the same as if they would have built using conventional construction methods and products. ICFs have proven to pay off with the amount of energy savings as well as the added benefits that sell themselves to prospective tenants.

Insulating Concrete Form Apartments

Insulated Concrete Form Energy Data

Construction finished up in March of 2010 and the building has been occupied since then with the following energy operating costs:

  • $0.23/sf/year to heat only (no cooling)
  • Over 50% better than conventional non-energy star buildings
  • 18.66 kBtu/sf/year to heat (no cooling)

$200 per apartment per year to heat
versus $400 to $600 for conventional construction

Apartment Comparison- Comparing numbers of the similar buildings down the street that were built with CMU and steel stud batt, they performed at $0.44 sf/yr to heat using 44.4 kBtus/sf/year.

ICFs helped to reduce energy use by 58%!

With green rating systems now required energy monitoring and reporting on new buildings Reward has been able to identify actually energy use of Reward ICF buildings, and all of the results have been great. Be on the lookout in the future for more comparisons like this for hotels, schools, public buildings, retail stores and more! The proof is in the numbers, and its apparent Reward ICFs serve as the best wall envelope material- incorporating energy efficiency AND countless other benefits all in one wall system.

New Standards for Sustainability? We're already there.