Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Newsletter: February 2020

In This Issue:

Key Announcements

Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit, June 8-10, 2020 in Arlington, VA

  • Calling all BBC partners! If you haven't submitted your 2019 energy and/or water utility data, connect with your Account Manager as soon as possible to meet the March 2, 2020 reporting deadline. Your progress will be featured on your profile page in the Better Buildings Solution Center and included in DOE's annual Better Buildings Progress Report.
  • Nominate projects and activities for the HUD Secretary's Awards for Healthy Homes 2020 by March 10, 2020. The awards provide a national platform to showcase results from a range of housing and indoor environmental health programs in categories including multifamily housing, Public Housing, and cross-program coordination.
  • Are you interested in receiving a grant and technical assistance to develop scalable housing affordability solutions in your community? The grant application for Enterprise Community Partners and Wells Fargo’s Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge is open until February 19, 2020.
  • The Kresge Foundation, Clean Energy Group (CEG) and New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) have announced a groundbreaking $3.3 million commitment to accelerate the market development of solar PV plus battery storage (solar+storage) technologies in historically underserved communities.
  • California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards went into effect on January 1, 2020. The standards ensure that builders use the most energy-efficient and energy-conserving technologies and construction practices, while being cost effective for owners. On the residential side, the standards encourage demand-responsive technologies including battery storage and heat pump water heaters.

Energy Efficiency + Health: Better Buildings Partners Collaborate on Housing for Health Fund

Housing retrofit projects that improve energy efficiency can also improve the health of occupants while reducing waste and operating costs. Three Better Buildings partners, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), Kaiser Permanente, and Enterprise Community Partners, have teamed up for a new venture called the “Housing for Health Fund,” which promotes healthy communities through energy efficiency.

Through this program, qualified developers such as EBALDC are tasked with implementing low-cost and high-impact energy-efficiency retrofit measures while administering Health Action Plans to identify health gaps in housing and surrounding communities. Kaiser Permanente has invested $15 million into the Housing for Health Fund and will match up to $35 million in additional funds to be raised by Enterprise. The fund will serve more than a dozen Bay Area counties, with half of the capital designated to promote health and preserve affordable homes in Oakland. Developers will also conduct annual resident surveys to assess health outcomes.

EBALDC purchased Kensington Gardens, a 41-unit apartment building in the Fruitvale neighborhood of East Oakland, using $5.2 million in joint-equity funding from the Housing for Health Fund. This is a first step for the partnership to improve local resident health and quality of life. EBALDC will own and operate the property and will use a portion of these funds to implement energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and “healthy home” upgrades. This new asset adds to its existing portfolio of 21 properties and more than 1,000 affordable housing units.

Explore more resources around the relationship between health and energy efficiency on the Better Buildings Solution Center.

Spotlight on Partner Success

Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) published a showcase project on The Brewster Apartments, built in Seattle in 1916. CCH installed four energy-savings measures resulting in energy reduction of 26 percent. The single most effective intervention was the replacement of Brewster’s gas wall furnaces with an electric split heat pump (ASHP) system. Seattle City Light provided more than $500,000 in incentives to help pay for energy-efficient retrofits and other building upgrades.

Brewster Apartments in Seattle, Washington

The Brewster Apartments in Seattle, Washington  

Presby’s Inspired Life provides senior living communities and care for seniors in Pennsylvania. Tracy Richardson, Building Manager at Neumann Senior Housing, uses benchmarking to identify more opportunities for efficiency. “Since I’ve been benchmarking, I am more cognizant of our energy bills. I meet with tenants frequently asking them to be mindful of their use.” In 2017 and 2018, Presby’s installed energy efficient lighting and laundry machines, and replaced burners on aging boilers to make Neumann more energy-efficient. Richardson now assists other Presby’s building managers to track and report their energy use.

Presby's Inspired Life; Exceptional, Without Exception.

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