The Meter is Running
The Habitat Article Archive includes the full text of all of our
magazine articles dating back to 2002. You can view 3 articles per
month for free. (Repeat views of the same article don’t count
against your monthly limit.)
To read more, purchase a print subscription or a daily or yearly All-Access Pass
and get unlimited access to the Archive. Prices start at 1.95.
You've reached your free article limit for this month.
To read this article and gain unlimited access to the Habitat Article
Archive, which includes the full text of all our magazine articles
dating back to 2002, purchase an All-Access Pass.
When one electricity shutdown becomes "several," a new plan is needed.
AUTHORMichael Scorrano , EN-POWER Group
At 200 Central Park South we were hired to install new air-conditioning equipment on the roof. This 35-story building had an old steam system, and the board wanted to replace it with an electric one. Not only would this have a carbon reduction benefit, but we were also installing a modular system. This meant we didn’t have to use a crane, which would be very expensive, but we did have to find a way to utilize the existing infrastructure to power the equipment. There was an electrical conduit that ran from downstairs up to the roof, but we had to figure out a way to connect the new equipment without major impacts on the building’s residents.
After the electricians started the project, the original plans to get the electrical equipment connected changed. We had planned for a single electrical shutdown, but now the electricians were saying it was going to take a number of shutdowns, each being eight hours. As you can imagine, shutting down the electricity, which means the elevators and hall lights, for a 35-story building with shareholders coming and going all day was concerning.
So we had to look at other alternatives, and we brought in another electrician. He was more used to working on higher-voltage, higher-tension-type services, and could actually do the work “live” without turning the power off. Instead of having three shutdowns that would've been eight hours at a clip, we were able to do one just for a couple of hours at night, and then do the other connections very quickly. Again, the board was very concerned that if someone had an emergency, and the elevator and all the common-area lighting was shut down, it would be too risky.
When we brought in the new electrician, costs increased. And of course, buildings do not like to spend more money once they've committed to a certain project cost. But I think the building realized that by making this change, it would minimize the impact to the building, and the board was more than willing to look at this alternative.