BBC Multifamily Newsletter – November 2018

In This Issue:

Key Announcements
Building Institutional Capacity through Internships
Spotlight on Partner Successes

Key Announcements

  • Welcome! Boston Housing Authority (BHA) has joined the BBC Multifamily sector, pledging to reduce energy consumption by 20% across its 10.5 million sq. ft. portfolio by 2028. BHA plans to meet its commitment through a combination of green redevelopment projects, green operations and maintenance practices, and HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversions.
Boston Housing Authority
  • Interested in hiring a two-year fellow with a professional degree in architecture or landscape architecture? Apply to host a Rose Architectural Fellow by November 9th! Fellowships focus on a range of topics, including: resident-oriented design, healthy housing, community engagement, resilience, and sustainability. Prospective host organizations are strongly encouraged to discuss their application with the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship team before submitting.

Building Institutional Capacity through Internships

Do you ever feel like your organization is stretched too thin and has little capacity for utility benchmarking? The BBC team has never claimed that benchmarking would be easy; yet we know it's worth it to gain insight into the energy and water performance of properties, the potential for improvement in those properties, and the effectiveness of investments made to improve performance. For many BBC Multifamily partners, hiring interns or fellows has been an effective strategy to bridge the capacity gap and institutionalize benchmarking in their organization. If you're struggling to set aside time to catalogue your portfolio or collect data, interns can focus all of their time on discrete projects and accomplish a lot in a short period of time.

At the 2018 Better Buildings Summit in Cleveland, Lauren Zullo, Director of Environmental Impact at Jonathan Rose Companies (JRC), presented on this topic, reporting on the inception of JRC's paid sustainability summer internship program and results from the first year. JRC had several potential projects lined up for interns, but decided to be flexible with which projects they selected, based on the skillset and career goals of the intern. The staff agreed upon a basic set of qualifications:

  • Students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in sustainability, business, or related fields
  • 2-5 years of sustainability experience
  • Knowledge of Enterprise Green Communities and/or LEED standards
  • Prior real estate experience (preferred)

Establishing these criteria allowed JRC's People Services department to narrow 100+ applicants down to eight finalists who were invited for interviews. Each company intern was paired with a Senior Manager in their respective business practice, who managed the intern throughout the 10-week program and helped the intern select projects and associated deliverables.

So, what were the results of the interns' labor?

  • Updated quarterly energy and water performance reports for each property to support easy analysis of utility data by comparing current consumption to previous quarters, and listing previously completed energy and water efficiency upgrades at that property
  • Automated Excel-based tool that calculates and visually displays JRC's progress against its organizational goals to reduce energy use intensity, water use intensity, and emissions intensity for streamlined investor reporting
  • Risk assessment tools and dashboards to help JRC determine opportunities for energy, water, and resiliency investments to mitigate risk from climate change and rising utility costs

JRC report

JRC's quarterly energy and water performance report

  • A map displaying JRC's properties and natural hazard risks to help the organization tailor its energy and water efficiency investments to the resiliency challenges facing specific properties

Lauren offered session attendees several tips to ensure long-term sustainability of an internship program.

  1. Select standalone projects with clear deliverables, allowing project managers to demonstrate return on investment and concrete outcomes to their organization.
  2. Integrate interns with other teams not directly involved in the intern's project so other staff can see value of the work product.
  3. Thoughtfully plan for transition at the conclusion of the internship, whether that means handing off the work to a full-time employee or extending a full-time job offer to the intern.
  4. Provide social and educational programming to interns so they can learn other aspects of the business and expand their network.

View the full Summit PowerPoint.

Spotlight on Partner Successes

Trinity Housing Corporation of Greeley, CO is a subscriber to a brand new community solar garden expected to bring about $10,000 in annual cost savings. Trinity also recently completed a portfolio-wide upgrade from CFL to LED light bulbs.

Trinity's community solar garden

Trinity's community solar garden

The Cleveland (Tennessee) Housing Authority expects to have all energy conservation measures (ECMs) for its Energy Performance Contract (EPC) installed and operating by the end of 2018! CHA has been working with Johnson Controls, Inc. to implement the EPC and is currently working with JCI and their account manager to coordinate data requirements to facilitate ongoing success in utility benchmarking and annual BBC data displays.

Knox County (Indiana) Housing Authority (KCHA) partnered with Duke Energy to install LED light bulbs, weather stripping, low-flow showerheads, and faucet aerators in approximately half of the housing authority’s units. KCHA hopes to complete similar work at the rest of its properties in the coming months.

Beacon Communities is partnering with WegoWise to undertake a portfolio-wide tenant release utility data drive to assist in their benchmarking efforts, which will allow Beacon to collect resident energy data in a timely manner and make informed energy efficiency investments.

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