Hilton New York Installs Green Roof to reduce carbon footprint

Manhattan’s largest hotel announces the completion of a new green roof system and the installation of a cogeneration (combined heat and power) system, both designed to reduce the hotel’s overall carbon footprint. To help promote awareness of the hotel’s sustainability efforts, all guests staying at Hilton New York will be provided with room keycards that depict an image of the new green roof.
“Hilton New York is dedicated to growing our sustainability initiatives and leading the hospitality industry in reducing waste and conserving energy,” stated Mark Lauer, general manager of Hilton New York. “We are proud of both the green roof and cogeneration system installation process, and look forward to assessing and sharing how the project continues to expand and benefit the surrounding area in the coming years.”
The 16,000-square-foot green roof system was installed by Xero Flor America and is located on the hotel’s fifth floor rooftop setback on the building’s West 53rd Street side. The system represents a major investment by Hilton New York to benefit efforts in carbon capture, energy conservation, and reduction of the Urban Heat Island effect.
Rooftop Deflects Solar Radiation
Hilton New York’s green roof supports local farming industries and plays host to locally grown plants harvested from an upstate New York farm. The foliage and roots of those plants naturally absorb airborne pollutants, which in turn prevents large quantities of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. Additionally, the vegetated rooftop deflects solar radiation and reduces the thermal load, reducing the energy previously expended in cooling the property. All together, these benefits aid in the reduction of the Urban Heat Island effect—or increased temperatures in midtown Manhattan due to concentrated cityscapes and a lack of vegetation.
The installation of a highly-efficient, environmentally-friendly cogeneration system, also situated on the hotel’s fifth floor roof setback, will provide in excess of 50 percent of the hotel’s electrical power and more than 40 percent of its steam consumption for heating and hot water requirements. As the largest hotel in New York City with 1,981 rooms, Hilton New York consumes more than 23 million kW hours of electricity per year. The cogeneration system is expected to be fully operational by summer 2012.
Based on well-proven technology, this 1,750kW cogeneration system uses clean and efficient natural gas to produce electricity and hot water for the hotel. The system will consist of seven 250kW energy modules manufactured by SDP Energy, Inc., a California-based provider of on-site energy systems.
At 1,750kW, this will be the largest cogeneration system to be installed at a New York City hotel. Once operational, the system will reduce the Hilton New York’s carbon footprint by more than 30 percent. The carbon dioxide reduction into the atmosphere will be more than 10,000 metric tons per year—equal to removing more than 6,000 mid-sized sedans from the roads.
Highly Efficient Fuel Cell System
Other green programs at the Hilton New York include the use of UTC Power fuel cell technology, which is a cleaner method of providing electric power and hot water to the property. In 2007, Hilton New York installed a PureCell system, which provides electric power and hot water throughout the hotel’s 1,981 rooms, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week without combustion. Since its implementation, the cell has produced approximately 1.75M kilowatts per year of electricity for a total of nearly 3.5M kilowatt hours to date. That equates to approximately 6 percent of the hotel’s consumption. In October 2009, the Avenue of the Americas Association awarded Hilton New York with the “Green Street” Award in recognition of its environmentally-friendly energy fuel cell.
Hilton New York uses LightStay, Hilton Worldwide’s proprietary system, to analyze, report and help the company improve its sustainability performance on property. Additionally, through strategic partnerships such as Global Soap Project and Good360, the Hilton New York engages guests and maximizes operational efficiencies.