powered by LeadingAge New York

HUD’s Green Retrofit Program Proved Successful

Published in HUD’s Preservation Connection newsletter, the following article spotlights a project that remodeled under HUD's Green Retrofit Program and produced considerable energy savings.

The Green Retrofit Program successfully reduced utility costs, improved indoor air quality and sealed the building envelope. The Green Retrofit Program was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to boost the economy, restore economic growth, strengthen America’s middle class and create jobs through sustainable development.  The GRP received $262 million dollars of funding to retrofit eligible Section 8 properties in an effort to reduce the demand for energy and water, cut operating and maintenance expenses and to ultimately improve the residents’ quality of life.

Built in 1994, CSP Pinefield (aka Pinefield Apartments) provides housing to persons with disabilities and is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama consisting of four single-story buildings, arranged around a rectangular courtyard. There are 14 apartments including seven (7) one bedroom /one bath units and seven (7) two bedroom /one bath units, a common laundry facility and two parking lots. A one bedroom unit serves as a maintenance office.

The project was awarded $290,108 in GRP grant funds to replace older, inefficient products with energy saving appliances and low or no volatile organic compound (“VOC”) emitting components. The retrofits were designed to reduce utility costs, improve indoor air quality and seal the building envelope to keep tenants warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

CSP Pinefield retrofits included:

  • Energy Star rated refrigerators and range hoods
  • Custom made Green Guard certified kitchen cabinets and countertops manufactured using a low-VOC finished wood
  • Water saving showerheads and faucet aerators
  • Bio-based floor tiles
  • Apartments painted with no-VOC paints
  • Indoor and  exterior energy efficient lighting   
  • Energy efficient gas fired water heaters with insulation blankets
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Energy Star rated HVAC systems, entry doors and roofs
  • LEED qualified cementitious siding and low-VOC caulking
  • Energy efficient windows
  • Parking lots sealed and restriped with low-VOC sealants and traffic paint
  • Exterior railings painted with the lowest VOC paint available.

To measure the retrofit impact, the GRP required each property undergo utility consumption analyses, both pre- installation* and one year after the work was certified complete.**  Zeffert and Associates, the utility analyses contractor, reported that due to the GRP improvements, tenants used 44 percent less gas, and the property reduced its water and gas consumption by 43.58 percent and  50.81 percent, respectively.

The retrofits at CSP Pinefield indeed seem to be quite a success!

*CSP Pre-installation consumption analysis period: Oct. 2009 to Oct. 2010
** CSP Post-installation consumption analyses periods: Gas & Water – Oct. 2011 to Sept. 2012; Electric – Jan. 2012 to Dec. 2012

Contact: Ken Harris, kharris@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8835