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Reliable district cooling frees up valuable amenity space

By tapping into Vicinity’s Baltimore District Energy network, this historic apartment complex is meeting its heating and cooling needs, reducing its carbon footprint and providing residents with unique recreational space.

Scope

Vicinity provides 10 Light Street with thermal energy, or ‘green steam,’ used for heating and domestic hot water, under a long-term agreement. In fact, the building has leveraged the Baltimore steam system for several years. In 2014, the adaptive reuse of the 34-story Art Deco building into luxury apartments prompted its new owners, Metropolitan Partnership, to convert to Vicinity’s central chilled water system for cooling – providing greater reliability and enabling additional space for tenant recreational use.

Challenge

As one of the most architecturally significant buildings dominating the Baltimore skyline, this towering landmark is located in the heart of the city and offers sweeping views of the harbor. For over 80 years, the 482,000-square-foot building was used as a bank and commercial offices. Built in 1929, the building has leveraged steam from the Baltimore district heating network for over 90 years.

Solution

In 2014, the landmark building was renovated into 400 apartment units, capitalizing on the city’s burgeoning re-vitalization and growing housing market. To further its sustainability efforts, avoid capital costs and take advantage of additional building space, Metropolitan Partnership opted to remove its antiquated chillers and cooling towers and connect to Vicinity’s chilled water loop. Vicinity’s chilled water system incorporates one of the largest ice thermal storage systems in the country – an innovative system that produces chilled water from ice, made using off-peak electricity during the night time.

Results

By converting to Vicinity’s chilled water system, the newly rehabilitated apartment complex not only offers reliable cooling, but also boasts unique recreational space on its roof and lower levels. Now building residents can enjoy a new roof-top pool, skyline lounge, a 42,000-square-foot Under Armour Performance Center operated by FX Fitness, an indoor dog park in the basement level and a larger outdoor dog park on the 5th floor rear terrace – all spaces that previously housed large mechanical equipment.

Because Vicinity’s district energy network incorporates renewable ‘green steam’ originating from a waste-to-energy plant, the building is benefitting from reliable energy, in addition to reducing its carbon footprint. Since its renovation, the building has reduced its carbon footprint by a total of approximately 1.1 million lbs. – the carbon equivalent of removing approximately 110 vehicles from the road per year. In addition, through Vicinity’s thermal ice storage system, Vicinity is able to take pressure off the electrical grid, protect customers from black outs and help reduce commodity costs.