District Case Studies

HOLT Architects Office

HOLT Architects, 619 W. State St.

In 2016, HOLT Architects completed the renovation of a one-story, 7,600 square foot strip mall into a near net-zero energy building – now home to the firm’s Ithaca operations. HOLT worked to not only preserve but also highlight as much of the original structure as possible.

Two critical components were necessary to achieve near net-zero: energy consumption minimization, and onsite energy production. They consisted of the following measures:

Envelope: Tightening the thermal envelope by putting continuous insulation inside of CMU block walls and study cavities.

Lighting: Installation of LED lighting and lighting controls such as occupancy sensors, daylight sensors, and scheduling software.

Plug Loads: Installation of plug load controls.

Mechanical Systems: Installation of an all-electric, distributed air-to-air heat pump

Onsite Energy Production: Installation of a 60 kW solar PV array on the roof.


Tatiem Engineering, 110 S. Albany St.

Originally a multifamily complex with four apartments, the building was constructed in 1880. Significant renovation was needed to fit Taitem’s needs and make it single occupancy, as extra bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior entrances had to be removed. Redevelopment of the now LEED Platinum office lasted from 2009 to 2012.

Taitem Engineering set a design goal of net-zero energy. They are still working toward this goal, but some measures that have already been implemented are:

Lighting: Designed lighting power density to 0.5 W/ft2 as opposed to the standard 1.1.

Mechanical Systems: Installation of a geothermal heat pump in the attic, lined with a radiant barrier material to increase efficiency.

Onsite Energy Production: Installation of a 6.44 kW solar PV array on the roof, and a ground mounted 2.76 kW array.

Water: Reduced consumption by 31% by installing dual flush toilets, low flow plumbing fixtures, and a high efficiency condensing boiler.