Until recently, nationally representative survey data has been the primary source of information on the energy performance of buildings in the U.S., relative to their year of construction. The emergence of municipal energy benchmarking ordinances and public availability of benchmarking datasets now makes it possible to explore these relationships at the local level, and to link this data with information about a building’s historic designation status. This paper presents results from an initial statistical analysis examining the relationships between building energy use, year of construction, and historic designation status. First, municipal benchmarking data from six U.S. cities is used to examine local trends in the relationship between building age and energy performance. Second, an exploratory analysis of the energy performance of designated historic compared to non-historic buildings in New York City is presented. The methods described in this paper could be applied more widely to benchmarking datasets from other cities.
The goal of this project was to research and propose the implementation of a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling plant. The recommended process is recycling PET flakes into its base polymers and monomers via a hydrolase enzyme biocatalyst. The current design with supporting utilities and operations has an estimated total capital investment of $54.68 million dollars. The team recommends selling terephthalic acid (rTPA) at $2.21 per kilogram to reach a net present value of $0 after 10 years. This price is not yet competitive with the current market of virgin TPA, which historically has been between $1.00 and $1.50 per kilogram. This process also produces liquid ethylene glycol (EG) and sodium sulfate salt (SS) that can be sold as co-products. The return on investment (ROI) is 24.4% and the venture profit is $1.34 million. Future work includes further optimization of rTPA pricing, on-site wastewater treatment, unit operation modification, and further lab development and research regarding the biocatalyst enzyme