Panelists discuss green affordable housing
With environmental sustainability and green building techniques gaining in importance, three developers shared their success stories at the second in a series of MassHousing-led panel discussions.
"Case Studies in Energy and Water Conservation: The New Normal to the Outer Limits" was held on June 11 at MassHousing. Ed Connelly of New Ecology, Inc. moderated the discussion among Beverly Craig of Homeowner's Rehab, Hank Keating of Trinity Financial and Courtney Koslow of Beacon Communities.
The panelists all agreed that two things—operating savings that are realized in "green" projects and requirements imposed by funders—are critical in pushing a sustainability agenda. They also acknowledged some tension between funder requirements and cost caps, but agreed with Hank Keating's assertion that the incremental costs associated with sustainability measures are not steep.
Moreover, operating cost savings can be significant. Beverly Craig noted that in HRI's Pine Street gut rehab project, which meets LEED for Homes Platinum standards, HRI has achieved a 69% reduction in natural gas usage. Likewise, Courtney Koslow noted that gas usage at Beacon's Old Colony redevelopment in Boston has been cut by 75%.
Trinity's Fairfax Gardens development in Taunton, a HOPE VI redevelopment, strove to meet passive house standards and while not quite reaching them, has achieved energy savings that significantly exceed the norms for LEED Gold developments.
Much more information from the discussion can be found in the PowerPoint presentations here.
MassHousing's next Green Corner panel discussion in September will cover "lessons learned."