Congratulations to the 2020 Multifamily Better Buildings Challenge Goal Achievers!

Congratulations to Mercy Housing, Corcoran Management, Preservation of Affordable Housing, and Trinity Housing Corporation of Greeley on achieving their 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings goal within the Better Buildings Challenge. These four Challenge partners serve a combined portfolio of more than 35,000 affordable and market rate housing units in 415 properties nationwide. Organizations who join the Multifamily Better Buildings Challenge supported by HUD and the Department of Energy (DOE) all sign on to an ambitious goal: achieving 20 percent energy savings across their multifamily housing portfolio within 10 years.

Mercy Housing, based in Denver, Colorado, achieved 24 percent energy savings across its nationwide portfolio of 320 properties with 23,000 housing units.

The organization was able to leverage $6.3 million in rebates to implement more than 240 projects.

Mercy Housing’s apartment building at night

Mercy Housing’s Natalie Gubb Commons  

Mercy Housing achieved its goals by leveraging rebate funding; dedicating staff solely to efficiency and environmental responsibilities; building new properties to environmental standards including LEED, Enterprise Green Community, and Evergreen; and taking advantage of a variety of financing methods. These included implementing a large-scale, innovative pay-from-savings efficiency program; starting with pilots to develop proof of concepts; and expanding to larger scale implementation. Mercy Housing also achieved its goals by reducing energy expenses through efficiency implementation, changing procurement standards, implementing efficiency at construction and major rehabilitation, and celebrating successes internally and externally.

Exterior of Canterbury Towers apartments

Corcoran Management's Canterbury Towers  

Corcoran Management, in Massachusetts, achieved 23 percent energy savings across its portfolio of 10 properties with 1,300 housing units, becoming a Goal Achiever in only three years. Corcoran Management invested in boiler and lighting upgrades across its portfolio and outfitted units with smart thermostats. The company trained 80 percent of its staff in energy efficiency principles to create a culture of sustainability across maintenance and management staff, to always be on the lookout for new opportunities to save energy.

Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), based in Boston, Massachusetts, achieved 20 percent energy savings across its portfolio of 84 properties with 11,000 housing units in 11 states and the District of Columbia. At the start of the Challenge, POAH used its data platforms to establish analytical tools that prioritized energy and water projects across its portfolio, and educated its development team on effective energy and water strategies in new projects. POAH also established a web-based platform, Basis of Design, to establish material and energy efficiency standards across the existing portfolio and in projects under development. This helped eliminate guesswork on replacement equipment and provided outside consultants with a Basis of Design for all rehab and new projects. Targeting local and state incentives based on property needs provided more opportunities for retrofits across the portfolio.

Exterior of Colony Plaza Apartments during the day

POAH's Colony Plaza Apartments

Exterior of Island Grove Village apartments

Trinity Housing's Island Grove Village

Trinity Housing Corporation of Greeley, in Colorado, achieved 20 percent energy savings in just six years across its portfolio of 103 housing units. Trinity realized its savings by implementing whole-property LED and ultra-bright LED lighting retrofits and installing Temperature Limiting Thermostats in units.

Additionally, the organization upgraded to 97 and 95 percent energy efficient ENERGY STAR® furnaces, installed 16 SEER air conditioners, and 91 percent energy efficient boilers. Property improvements have increased residents’ comfort and quality of life and resulted in cost savings that have allowed Trinity to increase funding for property maintenance and improvement.

As of 2020, 92 multifamily housing providers, representing more than 678,000 households, have made energy- or energy/water-efficiency commitments through the Better Buildings Challenge.

The Better Buildings Challenge is a voluntary leadership initiative that includes property owners and managers from diverse sectors who commit to improving the energy and water efficiency of their property portfolios by 20 percent over 10 years, and to annually report their progress and showcase best practices along the way. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, HUD partners with DOE to support the Multifamily Housing Sector, providing incentives and technical assistance for utility benchmarking and planning portfolio-wide investments in energy and water efficiency.

To learn more about the Multifamily Better Buildings Challenge, visit:

Visit the HUD Exchange at https://www.hudexchange.info
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