Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

M/WBE Contractor Performs an Energy Efficiency Upgrade at the State Supreme Courthouse in Manhattan

May 2019

Ahmad Reyaz, Owner and President of ACS System Associates, Inc. of Mount Vernon, NY takes pride that his company is one of the leading heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) and mechanical contractors in the tristate area (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania). The City-certified M/WBE is working for the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) to complete the $11 million energy efficiency retrofit at the State Supreme Courthouse at 60 Centre Street in lower Manhattan.

DDC is managing the project on behalf of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). The spacious hexagonal Courthouse was completed in 1927 and was designated a City landmark in 1966. The building’s chilled water production plant was antiquated, inefficient and working beyond its useful lifespan. The building’s electrical system was also out-of-date and inefficient.

Undertaken as part of the City’s OneNYC initiative, three new 400-ton chillers will be installed and the cooling tower will be replaced, which is part of a closed loop chilled water circulation system serving 69 air handling units ranging in size from 1,200 to 18,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM). There will be six new 1,200-gallon-per-minute water pumps installed.

The upgraded 1,200 ton chiller located on the roof of the New York State Supreme Court Building uses external air to cool water

The new HVAC and air handling equipment features modern controls that can change operation based on temperature and the level of carbon dioxide in the building. New damper actuators will ensure the system can use outdoor air to condition interior spaces without having to heat or cool internal air. All new equipment such as refrigeration machines, pumps and fans are also fitted with variable frequency drives to meet energy conservation code requirements.

Improvements to the electrical system include 200 LED fixtures plus 490 light sensors that will reduce unnecessary light usage. To optimize HVAC usage, there will be 120 wireless thermostats. Overall, the upgrades will save an average of 2.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 7.2 million pounds of steam each year, resulting in over $630,000 of savings annually.

Three upgraded chilled water pumps in the basement of the State Supreme Courthouse in lower Manhattan

“I grew up in an eastern India city called Jamshedpur with parents who worked for one of India’s largest conglomerates, Tata Group, and their subsidiaries. Like father like son, I followed in my dad’s engineering footsteps and studied to become a mechanical engineer,” said Ahmad Reyaz. “I left home in the 1980s to come to the United States. Though the company started in 1983, I joined as a co-owner in 1995 and later became the Owner and President after my partner retired in 2000. Throughout this journey, it’s been a pleasure to have my two sons along my side; Asad Reyaz is a Project Coordinator and Fahd Reyaz works with us as an Attorney.”

The company has worked with numerous state and City agencies including the NYS Office of General Services (OGS), the Dormitory Authority of the State of NY (DASNY), NYC School Construction Authority (SCA), NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to provide upgraded energy efficient systems. The firm has worked at schools, wastewater treatment plants, landmarked buildings, hospitals and even airports.

“When the M/WBE program started in 2005, I quickly became familiar with the program and the company became certified shortly after, because we wanted to partner with City agencies and have more opportunities for growth as a minority-owned business,” said Reyaz. “Today, nearly half of our revenue comes from the M/WBE program.”

ACS System Associates, Inc. relies on a qualified and experienced professional team who have contributed their years of experience in all phases of each project. Reyaz reflected on time spent with his business and the hurdles of minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

“General contractors should master their area of expertise before expanding. If they haven’t mastered what they’re currently doing, then it’s time to buckle down before branching out. Your chances at success are much higher when you focus on quality over quantity,” he said.

DDC is the leading mayoral agency in the City’s M/WBE program, having made more than $1.8 billion in contract awards to M/WBEs since 2015. DDC’s M/WBE utilization rate in the City’s most recent fiscal year was 22.9%. Over the past four years the DDC Office of Diversity & Industry Relations has hosted 24 and attended more than 150 procurement events, engaging almost 12,000 vendors, including 6,029 M/WBEs.

Contractors or M/WBEs seeking more information about DDC programs and contracting opportunities should contact the DDC Office of Diversity & Industry Relations at