After a retrofit, a dilapidated 3,000 sf building in New York become the city’s first net-zero energy structure. Green developer Voltaic Solaire outfitted the building's facade with thin-film PVs and solar thermal tubes for hot water, and installed a roof awning with solar panels. The solar thermal tubes preheat water before it flows with gravity to point-of-use heaters that take it the next few degrees. That eliminates the need for a large boiler in the basement and extensive pumps to get water from the ground level to the fifth floor.
The company’s goal was to make the structure as efficient as possible, and it wasn’t sure that it could achieve net-zero. The building is set to open as a bed and breakfast.