Energy Star

Building Energy Efficiency

Synapse Corporate Headquarters, Syracuse, New York

New York's Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that 30 percent of electricity come from renewable energy resources by 2015. In 2011, 24 percent of electricity came from renewable energy resources. In 2011, New York had the fourth highest average electricity prices in the United States. In 2010, New York was the eighth largest energy consumer in the United States.

energystarSynapse contributes to the state’s goal of increasing renewable energy resources and lowering energy consumption.

Synapse succeeded in developing a high performance building with minimal energy consumption. The building achieved an EnergyStar rating of 98 - meaning it is more energy efficient than 98% of similar buildings in the United States.

Synapse accumulated 34 points in Energy and Atmosphere credits toward LEED Certification for Existing Buildings (EB).

How we did it

eep3Solar Panels

  • In August 2011, a 22 kilowatt (kW) roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system was installed;
  • The PV system supplies approximately 20% of the building’s electricity.
  • The system is composed of 120 cylindrically shaped, PV modules and two inverters.
  • The unique module design, in contrast to flat panels, allows the system to capture direct, diffuse and reflected light and eliminates the need to tilt the modules towards the sun.
  • The system is net metered into the grid, meaning any electricity produced that is not used feeds the grid; this type of system eliminates the need for battery storage.

Energy recovery ventilator and high efficiency heating and cooling system

  • Picture1

    Energy recovery ventilator improves indoor air quality while minimizing energy loss.
  • The ventilator detects carbon dioxide levels in the building and automatically switches on when levels reach 1,100 parts per million.
  • Air is pulled in from the outdoors through a small-pore filter while indoor air is discharged.
  • The two flows pass in close proximity so the energy in the warmer/cooler air is transferred to the cooler/warmer air, reducing the energy required to heat or cool the air.
  • The furnace and air handling units are Energy Star rated with efficiencies of 95% and 20 SEER, respectively.


lightingSynapse has been fully retrofitted with high efficiency lighting. T-8 fluorescents, along with low-mercury CFLs and LED lamps provide ample light while the fixture design reduces light trespass to the outdoors.

Economic Benefits

  • Energy efficiency & renewable energy: $1 to $1.25/sf
  • Energy improvement Increased asset by $15 to $20/sf
  • Obtained 40% of capital improvement cost through grants, rebates and tax credits

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