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HSP: Case Study



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Just like the electric vehicle revolution has transformed the market, the built environment holds the same potential. This case study proves that electric-based approaches can work, with new systems phased in over time. The fundamental principle of this project was a deep examination into the energy flows within commercial office spaces. While lights provide illuminance, they also give off heat. Office equipment and occupants behave much in the same way- they are essential dynamic components within the building program and have a thermal signature that a building’s heating and cooling systems must respond to. The analysis was based on examining opportunities to reuse/recycle/balance these flows via hydronic-based HVAC retrofits at multiple scales of renovation.

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nameHines Case Study.pdf
pageThe Empire Building Playbook


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  • Focusing on energy flows: The fundamental principle of this project was a deep examination into the energy flows within commercial office spaces. While lights provide illuminance, they also give off heat. Office equipment and occupants behave much in the same way- they are essential dynamic components within the building program and have a thermal signature that a building’s heating and cooling systems must respond to. The analysis was based on examining opportunities to reuse/recycle/balance these flows via hydronic-based HVAC retrofits at multiple scales of renovation. 

  • A more sustainable and circular approach consists of:
    • Leveraging heat recovery ventilation to reduce conditioning loads
    • Separating fresh air delivery from heating and cooling systems by using a dedicated outdoor air supply
    • Recycling existing sources of heat within the building during the cold weather rather than rejecting it to the atmosphere.
    • Utilizing heat pumps to satisfy remaining heating loads in buildings and fully eliminate the use of fossil fuel combustion
  • New systems can be phased in over time: Rather than retrofitting the entire building, work can be done on a floor-by-floor basis, which is easier on the budget, allows for greater flexibility and is less disruptive to existing tenants. It is estimated that full-floor tenants vacate spaces every 10 to 15 years.


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BlocPowerBluePrint PowerEnergy MachinesHinesHudson Square PropertiesHunter Roberts Construction Group  New Building InstituteNodaNorges Bank Investment ManagementThornton TomasettiTrinity Church Wall Streeturbs Urban Systems Van Zelm Engineering


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The Hudson Square Properties team and their consultants shown above, followed the Playbook approach to define the decarbonization roadmap for 100 Avenue of America, a 17-story masonry building structure built in 1930. This building structure is representative of many of New York City’s commercial buildings.

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Getting Started


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In 2021, Hines promoted Mike Izzo to Vice President-Carbon Strategy to lead the firm in assessing its global carbon emissions and develop the strategy to set and achieve the firm’s science-based targets. 

Mike Izzo led this study to define the decarbonization roadmap for Hines 17-story commercial office building located at 100 Avenue of the Americas. A project team was assembled comprising experts from:

  • URBS │ Urban Systems, a Stockholm, Sweden-based mechanical engineering firm that focuses on sustainable HVAC design
  • van Zelm Heywood & Shadford of Hartford, Connecticut, which specializes in water-based HVAC solutions
  • Thornton Tomasetti, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm known for its advanced building simulation techniques