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Booker T. Washington Apartments
Booker T. Washington Apartments
Booker T. Washington Apartments
Booker T. Washington Apartments
Booker T. Washington Apartments
Booker T. Washington Apartments
Booker T. Washington Apartments
Booker T. Washington Apartments
Booker T. Washington Apartments
Booker T. Washington Apartments

Showcase Project: Booker T. Washington Apartments

Sector Type

Multifamily

Location

Jersey City, New Jersey

Project Size

245,000 square feet

Annual Energy Use

Baseline (2011)
340 kBtu/sq. ft.
Actual (2014)
210 kBtu/sq. ft.

Energy Savings:

37%

Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2011)
$1,490,000
Actual (2014)
$840,000

Cost Savings:

$650,000
Background

Located in Jersey City, New Jersey, the Booker T. Washington Apartments are a set of nine three- and four-story brick buildings that provide 319 units of public housing. Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA) first constructed seven of the property’s buildings in 1943 and built two more in 1955. In 2010, JCHA initiated Phase 1 of a proactive rehabilitation project to upgrade aging infrastructure at Booker T. Washington Apartments. To implement energy and water efficiency measures in a cost-efficient way, JCHA used the energy performance contract (EPC) model where savings generated from efficiency upgrades pay for improvements. Until that point, all improvements made to the apartments had been maintenance-based and were unrelated to the resident units. Many systems were well beyond their useful life, including the property’s boilers. 

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After the project began, Hurricane Sandy struck and caused significant flood damage to the lower levels of the Booker T. Washington apartments (see picture below). To recover from storm damage, JCHA expanded the scope of the project and added a second phase to recover from storm damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The second phase of this project is still in progress. 

Hurricane Sandy Path, October 2012

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Solutions

Phase 1 of the project implemented $2.1 million worth of energy efficiency recommendations identified by Siemens, an energy service contractor, as part of a larger energy conservation effort across JCHA’s portfolio. JCHA was awarded over $500,000 from the New Jersey SmartStart utility incentive program to implement these recommendations. By 2014, Phase 1 efficiency measures were complete and included new lighting systems, water fixtures, temperature controls, air conditioning units, and heating system improvements. Overall dollar and costs savings have significantly exceeded original projections and the project will pay for itself in 5-7 years.  

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Implemented energy efficiency measures included:

  • New lighting fixtures in common areas
  • Upgraded lighting in all units (bathrooms, living and dining rooms, bedrooms, halls, and kitchens)
  • Updated air conditioning in central offices
  • Temperature monitoring and controls throughout the complex
  • New boilers and boiler controls with steam control valves
  • New steam traps and thermostatic radiator valves in apartment radiators

Implemented water efficiency measures included:

  • New toilets
  • Low-flow aerators in showers
  • Low-flow bathroom faucets and kitchen faucets

In 2013, JCHA successfully applied for federal relief funding for Phase 2 of the project to recover from Hurricane Sandy damage. Phase 2 will comprise of additional infrastructural improvements including replacing boiler and domestic hot water equipment. JCHA also plans to use the funding to relocate the boiler rooms and electrical infrastructure in each building’s basement to secure them from future flood damage. 

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Other Benefits

The higher quality lighting and upgraded temperature controls improved living conditions and quality of life for Booker T. Washington Apartments’ residents. This project also lowered maintenance costs, improved equipment reliability, and eliminated 7.7 million pounds in annual carbon emissions.  

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