The National Housing Trust-Enterprise Preservation Corporation (NHT-Enterprise) is a non-profit organization engaged in preserving affordable housing. The Monseñor Romero Apartments, a 63-unit building in Washington, D.C.’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, is one of NHT-Enterprise’s buildings. Last year, the complex re-opened and welcomed tenants for the first time since it was devastated by a fire in 2008. Today, 40 low-income families displaced by the fire can once again call the apartments “home.”
Out of tragedy’s rubble, NHT-Enterprise worked together with tenants to create hope and opportunity as the complex was rebuilt. In an effort to lead the affordable housing industry by example, NHT-Enterprise incorporated numerous green elements into the renovation and worked with tenants through the design process to find green solutions that met their needs. Renovations to the building will incorporate sustainable elements, including solar panels on the roof to heat hot water, a vegetation green roof to slowly absorb water, and the use of environmentally friendly materials. NHT-Enterprise has also entered into an agreement to receive financial support for additional green improvements from the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU).
ENERGY EFFICIENCY STRATEGIES
- Thermal Shell Improvements
- Rigid foam insulation shell
- Energy Star rated windows
- TPO roofing with a solar reflectance of 80% covering at least 90% of available roof area
- Hot Water Efficiency
- Domestic hot water circulator pump controlled by a 24-hour times or aquastat control
- Lighting Efficiency
- Common area lighting installed at an efficient density
- Remote-mounted occupancy sensors in stairwells
In order to further provide a healthy living environment at Monsenor Romero and improve the quality of life there, the following green measures were incorporated:
- Water reducing, low-flow (1.5 gpm) shower heads, lavatory faucets, kitchen sinks, and toilets
- Energy Star rated appliances, including refrigerators, washers, dryers, and dishwashers
- Non-toxic paints, adhesives, sealers, floor-coverings and wall-coverings
- Optimal use of other alternative and sustainable building products, including recycled content products
The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), a leader in multifamily efficiency, has worked continually with NHT-Enterprise on this project. The DCSEU provided technical assistance on the complex’s design and construction. NHT-Enterprise also received $220,000 from the DCSEU for installation of energy conservation measures and solar thermal roof panels.
NHT-Enterprise’s commitment to efficiency—as well as its partnership with the DCSEU—extends far beyond the Monseñor Romero Apartments. Last year, NHT-Enterprise installed solar systems across all 13 of its existing multifamily affordable housing projects through the creation of NHT Renewable, a groundbreaking program that allows the nonprofit NHT-Enterprise to own and operate these solar installations while receiving the same federal and solar tax benefits as for-profit counterparts. NHT Renewable also benefits local economies by creating more solar installation jobs. The project has been an enormous success, so much so that multifamily housing owners across the country are now turning to NHT Renewable to install solar panels across their buildings. The DCSEU provided both financial incentives and technical assistance to help make NHT Renewable a reality.
Now that it has become a national efficiency leader, NHT-Enterprise promises to keep on reducing energy. As part of the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Better Buildings Challenge, NHT-Enterprise has committed to a 20 percent reduction in energy and water consumption by 2020. Already, they are more than half way toward this goal.
At the Monseñor Romero Apartments, and throughout its properties, NHT-Enterprise demonstrates how energy efficiency can do far more than reduce operating costs. It can boost local economies and provide families with hope, independence, and community pride.
|Annual Energy Savings (kwh/yr):||220,793|
|Total Savings ($):||61,045|
|Total Project Cost ($):||1,132,392|
|Incentive Dollars ($):||240,880|
|Customer Cost ($):||891,512|
|Simple Payback (yrs):||14.6|