Retrofitting buildings with heat pumps

The window units discussed a couple of weeks ago sound like a better deal.

Heat Pump Project in Frederick Douglass Houses Nears Completion

A two-year project to convert a public housing building to an electrically powered heat pump system is nearing completion on the Upper West Side. The 58-year-old 20-story tower at 830 Amsterdam Avenue (100th Street), part of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Frederick Douglass Houses development, is being retrofitted to provide heating, cooling, and hot water for residents – and to serve as a possible template for converting more of the 2,410 buildings NYCHA maintains citywide.

The $28 million project is part of NYCHA’s efforts to meet the ambitious goals set out in the city’s climate law, known as Local Law 97, whose requirements begin to go into effect next year.

…replace the aging boilers at 830 Amsterdam Avenue with a heat pump system, called variable flow refrigerant, that would deliver heat, hot water, and cooling to the building’s 159 units.

$28 million/159 = $176,000 per unit


My bro owns a condo in Brookline (Boston), and they are talking about scrapping their oil burner for split minis for the units.

We just added one for a sun room that’s unbearably hot in August and cold in February, cost us $4K.Worth it. Could have gotten one at extra cost that runs to multiple rooms, but we didn’t need it.

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The $28 million is the whole program cost covering about 13,000 heat pumps, not what they spent on that one building with 159 units.



That’s good to know. This press release says that “NYSERDA is providing $13 million for the demonstration phase, including procurement specification development, initial purchasing, and monitoring and performance assessment…”


NY has lots and lots and lots of public housing. NYC alone has close to 200,000 units, and the rest of the state, being poorer on average, probably has a bunch more. So 13,000 units could be the demonstration phase. And, since it is NY we are talking about, some of the money has to go to things like graft and similar stuff needed to get the jobs done.

Usually the demonstration phase is meant to collect enough info to submit for a large Federal grant. In this case, no doubt, they will ask for a multi-billion grant.

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Do that with every unit in the building - and perhaps in more than one room, and you’re going to put a huge electrical load on wiring that wasn’t designed for that. Yes, you can sequester most of it at the base, but on mine, at least, the 220v runs up the wall and also powers the fan that distributes the air into the room.

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What is the “new machinery” that has been installed?


Could they be TARDISes?

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Wouldn’t they be blue?


Wired phone? Or cell phone? Or…???