Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Newsletter: June 2020

In This Issue:

Key Announcements

Exterior of an apartment building

  • Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes announced the results of the 2020 Better Buildings Progress Report during the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit on June 8, 2020. Since the program's inception, more than 950 partners have collectively saved nearly $11 billion on energy costs. Read the full report.

  • Register today for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE’s) Hot Water Forum, July 21 – 22, 2020 and July 28 – 29, 2020. Explore the smartest, most cost-effective ways to improve the efficiency of hot water systems, the second largest energy user in the home. In addition, learn about the intersection between hot water systems and important issues like equity and decarbonization. Register for the Hot Water Forum.

Congratulations 2020 Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily 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 achieved its goals by leveraging rebate funding; dedicating staff solely to efficiency and environmental responsibilities; building new properties to environmental standards; and implementing a large-scale, innovative pay-from-savings efficiency program.

View the Video

Mercy Housing’s apartment building at night

Mercy Housing’s Natalie Gubb Commons  

Exterior of Canterbury Towers apartments

Corcoran Management's Canterbury Towers  

Corcoran Management, based in Braintree, 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.

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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. POAH used its data platforms to establish analytical tools that prioritized energy and water projects, and educated POAH’s development team on energy and water strategies. POAH also established a web-based platform, POAH Basis of Design, to establish material and energy efficiency standards. Targeting local and state incentives based on property needs provided more opportunities for retrofits across the portfolio.

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Exterior of Colony Plaza Apartments during the day

POAH's Colony Plaza Apartments

Exterior of Island Grove Village apartments

Trinity Housing Corporation of Greeley’s Island Grove Apartments

Trinity Housing Corporation of Greeley, in Greeley, Colorado, achieved 20 percent energy savings in just six years across its portfolio of 108 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.

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HUD Creates New Health@Home Guidelines and Webinars

HUD’s newly released Health@Home guidelines give affordable housing developers or owners a framework for incorporating healthy housing practices and products into their moderate rehabilitation or home repair programs. They are organized around nine healthy housing principles: the eight widely accepted Principles of Healthy Homes plus one: Healthy Living and Active Design. The Guidelines, for the first time, provide an easy-to-use crosswalk between the Principles (Section A) and commonly used Rehab or Property Standards that are organized by building component (Section B), such as Foundations and Structure, Interiors, Electrical, Building Exterior, etc. While healthy housing has always been important, the guidelines are especially relevant in light of the current COVID-19 virus.

Screenshot of Healthy@Home guidelines

HUD's new Health@Home High-Performance Housing
Rehabilitation Guidelines

Save the Date for three upcoming Health@Home webinars:

  • Freedom from Contaminants and Pests – July 23, 2020 at 3:00 PM EDT
  • Mold and Moisture: Keeping a Home Dry and Safe – September 1, 2020 at 3:00 PM EDT
  • Bringing it Home: The Energy Plus Health Equation, Maintenance, and Active Design – October 8, 2020 at 3:00 PM EDT
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