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Entrance to Golda Meir
Entrance to Golda Meir
Aerial view of Golda Meir
Aerial view of Golda Meir
Residents taking care of the community garden
Residents taking care of the community garden

Showcase Project: Golda Meir House

Sector Type

Multifamily

Location

Newton, Massachusetts

Project Size

170,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

Project Cost: $52,476,000

Annual Energy Use

(Source EUI)
Baseline (2016)
136 kBtu/sq.ft.
Expected (2018)
103 kBtu/sq.ft.

Energy Savings:

29%

Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2016)
$374,500
Expected (2018)
$266,000

Cost Savings:

$108,500
Background

Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE) builds and manages affordable, non-sectarian housing communities where seniors can live independently. Golda Meir House in Newton opened in 1978 as JCHE’s fourth community in Massachusetts. The multifamily property offers a supportive community for older adults that includes social, cultural, and recreational programs to facilitate active and healthy aging. Golda Meir House is comprised of 199 apartments, 176 of which are reserved for low-to-moderate income residents.

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Golda Meir is located adjacent to a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Riverside Green Line stop, which provides access to downtown Boston and local hospitals. The property has been awarded a Community of Quality award from the National Affordable Housing Management Association for achieving a high standard of excellence in maintenance, management, and the services provided to residents.

In 2007, JCHE embarked on a program to modernize its building portfolio with an emphasis on increasing adaptability and operating efficiency. The goal of the program was to create communities that could adapt to residents’ changing needs and abilities throughout the aging process. In addition, JCHE pays all utilities except for telephone and cable TV, so reducing operating costs allows JCHE to enhance resident services to promote successful aging. Golda Meir House is the fourth property to be renovated in JCHE’s portfolio-wide modernization effort.

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Solutions

JCHE recently began a building retrofit of Golda Meir, which will receive Enterprise Green Communities certification for its improvements in energy and water efficiency, and will also improve resident comfort and health. The renovation will reconfigure the first floor common area, which was originally divided into several single-use rooms, into a “village center,” complete with a community store, library, computer center, mail area, and fitness stations. Staff offices have been moved to improve tenant spaces and to encourage tenant participation in activities. 

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JCHE removed all thru-wall air conditioners, which allowed for additional exterior insulation and the installation of new energy efficient windows, increasing daylight in the units. Air sealing and make-up air in the corridors will reduce drafts and cooking smells spreading from one unit to another. Sprinklers will be added to all units, where previously only the hallways had sprinklers. Some of the other energy- and water-efficient measures include:

  • High-efficiency windows
  • Wall and roof insulation
  • LED lighting
  • Low-flow toilets and faucet aerators
  • Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system
  • Commercial kitchen exhaust hood controls
  • Advanced building controls to prevent air conditioning use with open windows
  • Boiler and domestic hot water system with high-efficiency boilers and pumps
  • Baseboard hydronic heat and thru-wall air conditioners with air source heat pumps
  • Replacement of bath tubs with accessible showers 
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Other Benefits

In addition to energy and water savings, Golda Meir’s retrofit produced several complementary benefits:

  • High indoor air quality through improved ventilation in units and common areas and use of healthy materials for interior surfaces;
  • Improved compartmentalization to reduce cross-contamination of odors and pollutants across units; and
  • Attractive and welcoming landscaping.
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