Sue Treiman, Habitat
Long after exploding toilets put Brooklyn’s Caton Towers in the news, the 283-unit cooperative is generating a new kind of excitement. Make that “cogenerating” it.
The co-op, located in the Kensington neighborhood, is installing a combined heat and power (CHP) system that will simultaneously produce electricity and hot water, saving energy and money while providing power back-up in an emergency. “It’ll offer payback along with resilience,” says the En-Power Group’s director of engineering, professional engineer Amalia Cuadra, who oversaw this project.
The building-owned machine will generate enough electricity to keep common areas, including hallways and elevators, running – even during a power outage. Meanwhile, excess heat created while producing the power will be siphoned off to heat domestic water for the entire building. The tandem processes will save about $63,000 in annual thermal and electricity fees, and provide the residence with its own back-up power source during any future emergency.