Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Newsletter: September 2021

In This Issue:

Key Announcements

  • Low-income multifamily residents often bear disproportionally high energy burdens. Learn about the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the National Housing Trust’s (NHT’s) Green, Resilient, Efficient, and Affordable Homes for Tenants (GREAHT) proposal to Congress. The proposal calls for up to $75 billion in federal investment over 10 years to fund energy efficiency upgrades as well as health and safety improvements, electrification, solar power, and increased resilience in low- and moderate-income multifamily housing.

Energy Equity logo

  • A new report by the Clean Energy Group and the Clean Energy States Alliance explores lessons learned about energy storage policy best practices from the New England states. Watch the Energy Storage Policy Best Practices from New England webinar recording for a discussion on the report’s findings.

  • ACEEE’s Energy Equity for Renters initiative will help tackle the challenge of reducing energy waste in rental housing. In partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, ACEEE is engaging local governments across the country to support local leaders’ efforts to improve rental housing. They will provide technical assistance to cities and community-based organizations working to create and implement programs for rental efficiency upgrades. They will also track and benchmark policy developments that support residential efficiency and affordability efforts and highlight best practices.

Webinar: What’s Next in Water Tech for Multifamily Housing

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

As extreme drought conditions threaten western states, hear from experts in multifamily housing water efficiency who reach beyond the low-hanging fruit of faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads to implement deep water conservation measures. Learn about innovative irrigation and landscape design techniques, rainwater harvesting systems and cutting-edge toilet monitoring and leak detection technologies.

Image of person reading a meter

During this webinar we will:

  • Learn about the next generation of toilet sensors including "Internet-of-Things" (IoT) technology that identifies leaks and sends real-time alerts to property managers
  • Hear how Challenge partner Atlanta Housing has eliminated the use of potable water for outdoor irrigation and reduced indoor potable water use at one community center by installing a rainwater collection system and implementing several other high efficiency measures
  • Discover smart irrigation solutions using weather-based irrigation management via cloud-based software platforms
Register for the What’s Next in Water Tech for Multifamily Housing Webinar

Moderator and Panelists

  • Maureen Erbeznik is a Retrofit Advisor for the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge. Maureen has 33 years of experience assisting customers in evaluating and implementing water use efficiency technologies for plumbing, HVAC, landscape and irrigation, food service, and reuse.
  • Gillan Taddune is President and CEO of Banyan Water, a water management software and services business. Prior to her time at Banyan Water, Gillan served in executive positions at leading mission-driven technology companies such as Recyclebank, EnerNOC, and Green Mountain Energy.
  • John Skach is Director of Planning, Design, and Community Development at Atlanta Housing. As an urban planner and architect, he is involved in Atlanta Housing’s redevelopment planning efforts for a broad range of agency assets including vacant land and existing buildings, with a focus on creating sustainable, high-quality communities centered on affordable housing.
  • Kevin Mulcahy is Manager of Energy Management at AvalonBay Communities. In his time with the company, Kevin has led a water savings task force to reduce AvalonBay’s impact on water stress, with a focus on weather-based irrigation systems.
  • Nicholas Benz is the Director of Account Management at Sensor Industries, an Internet of Things company bringing new operational efficiency, increased Net Operating Income, and water conservation to multifamily communities.

Spotlight on Partner Projects

  • Trinity Housing Corporation of Greeley, Colorado, partnered with Oak Leaf Energy Partners to join a 2,000 kW DC community solar garden. Oak Leaf qualified for Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Community Program in Colorado and built a ground-mounted solar array totaling 2,000 kW DC in Greeley. Trinity was able to join the community solar garden in 2019 at no cost and receives bill credits for the electricity produced by their share of the community solar garden. The organization saves $10,000 – $11,000 a year from participation in the community solar program.

  • Over the past year, the multifamily building sector has played a critical role in responding to the health challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Massachusetts-based Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partners exemplify these efforts to protect the health and safety of residents: Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) and 2Life Communities. These Challenge partners provided a combination of energy efficiency upgrades, indoor air quality improvements, and resident support services to keep their residents safe. Across its senior housing portfolio, CHA installed 200 HEPA air filters in common areas and bolstered air sealing on the perimeter of individual apartments for both energy efficiency and ventilation purposes. To improve HVAC systems, 2Life introduced several upgrades to ventilation and filtration during the pandemic. They increased filtration throughout their properties to MERV 13 filters. Read more about this topic on the Beat Blog.

Rendering of a Cambridge Housing Authority building

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This material is based upon work supported by funding under an award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. Neither the United States Government, nor any of its employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately-owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government or any agency thereof. Opinions expressed on the HUD Exchange are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position that is endorsed by, HUD or by any HUD program.