Historic Structure Uses State Of The Art Power
A historic building in Manhattan's Lower East Side is utilizing one of the newest forms of energy technology available. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
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The DeVinne Press Building was a cornerstone of the East Village in 1886 and remains a prominent fixture today.
It took 14 months to build the former printing press one brick at a time at a cost of $200,000. Andy Fisher and his father likely paid a little more than that when they purchased the landmarked property in the 1980s, and in 2006, made it the new home of Astor Wine and Spirits.
"Over the years we've spent a lot of time and energy restoring the building to the glory of its 1886 creation," said Fisher.
Although he won't divulge the purchase price, Fisher says he's easily put that much and more into updating the building, so businesses and bottles could move in.
"In order to make this useable, there was an awful lot of investment that had to be made into the building," said Fisher.
But the star of this story isn't the brick building or even the bubbly housed inside it.
Described as one of the cleanest engines on the planet, two microturbines have infused the 19th century building with 21st century technology, generating enough electricity to power half the massive structure, and using what's left over to heat or cool the store downstairs and education rooms above.
"Each one is producing 65 Kilowatts of power and about 408,000 BTU's of hot water and 20 tons of air conditioning," said Cory Glick, President, RSP Systems.
Glick recently gave a tour of the turbines to dozens of architects and engineers. The seminar was arranged through the U.S. Green Buildings Council of New York.
"The challenge for us is not so much how do we make our new buildings the best that we can, we need to do that, but the real challenge in New York is how do we address our existing building in terms of energy efficiency," said Yetsuh Frank, U.S. Green Buildings Council of New York.
While some play catch up, Glick says others are getting on the ground floor, with generators being installed at new construction sites around the city.
"Like you would normally specify a boiler and chiller, they park one of these microturbines alongside and allow that to produce the first stage power and thermal energy for the building," said Glick.
While the price of the units vary, Glick says the microturbines ultimately pay for themselves. Since he says a building this size could shave roughly $60,000 a year from its electric bill, it's no wonder they're generating such buzz.