Houston Housing Authority: 75 Lyerly Apartments
75 Lyerly is a five-story concrete masonry building located in north Houston. Originally constructed in 1975, the building consists of 198 one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit. In mid-2015, Houston Housing Authority (HHA) entered into an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with Siemens, which was financed based on a guaranteed 20 percent reduction in energy consumption over 15 years.
All HHA properties with an Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) – for Section 8 rental assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – underwent energy and water audits. Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties are not eligible to participate in HUD’s EPC program and were excluded from the audits. 75 Lyerly is one of 17 buildings that were chosen to receive comprehensive energy and water efficiency upgrades.
HHA implemented several capital improvements at 75 Lyerly before its current EPC. For example, energy use decreased slightly after HHA installed insulating metal panels on the building’s façade to prevent water penetration. HHA also installed a reflective white roof and replaced the original hot water boiler and domestic water pumps from 1975 with newer, more efficient models.
HHA reviewed 75 Lyerly’s energy and water audits and decided to implement the following conservation measures in March 2016:
Energy Efficiency Upgrades
- Replacement of old lighting with LED fixtures in units, common areas, and exterior locations (parking lots, walkways, etc.);
- Installation of an energy management control system that will permit centralized control and monitoring of electricity usage in common areas (leasing offices, community rooms, etc.);
- Installation of new electric stoves in units, with “Safe-T elements” mounted on each stove burner; these are connected to a circuit board and interrupt power when temperatures exceed the set threshold, reducing energy cost; and
- Improved building envelope (window tinting and sealing, door sweeps, etc.).
Water Efficiency Upgrades
- Installation of tamper-resistant low-flow aerators for showerheads and bathroom/kitchen sinks;
- Installation of tamper-resistant low-flow aerators for common area sinks;
- Installation of .8 gallon-per-flush toilets in units and common areas; and
- Installation of water tanks that harvest rainwater and HVAC condensation and filter it for landscape irrigation.
The energy- and water-efficient building upgrades will significantly reduce HHA’s maintenance and operations costs, increase asset value of the property, and increase the quality of life for residents. New LED technology lighting will ensure safety in the parking lot and Safe-T elements will drastically reduce the risk of fire.