The Lofts at Marie McGuire

BACKGROUND

Marie McGuire is a 63 unit, six story mid-rise located in the heart of downtown San Antonio. Built in 1924 and originally called the Ogilvie Building, it is a downtown architectural gem. The San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) purchased and initially rehabbed it in the late 1970s as an elderly/disabled residential building. In 2010, SAHA initiated a comprehensive modernization of the Marie McGuire Apartments because of its age and its ideal location in downtown San Antonio.

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SAHA is a property manager, owner, and/or developer with a long-term community-focused mission. The McGuire building is located just two blocks south of the historic Alamo and boasts walkability to its fullest extent. There are two targets at this property. First, individual apartments are targeted to be 50% more efficient when measured against their individual residential baseline energy use. Second, the building aims to be 20% more efficient than pre-construction conditions.

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SOLUTIONS

The SAHA Board approved a Preservation and Expansion Policy in 2010, which established a mandatory sustainable building design, standard, and compliance practice. For the McGuire retrofit project to comply, SAHA issued a RFP for all contractors performing work to be able to perform to Build San Antonio Green (BSAG) Level 2 Energy Retrofit standards. The retrofit work was completed in late 2014 with the building successfully built to its desired specifications. HERS ratings of individual apartments were used to verify in unit improvements.

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SAHA staff hopes to double the expected savings on the project with tenant energy efficiency education programs planned for residents as they move back in. The goal is 20% energy savings as behavioral modification and building design features of the McGuire project are combined. Several noteworthy features include:

  • Increased insulation levels;
  • Low-E windows and storefronts;
  • CFL and LED lighting;
  • A central hot water heating system with a 96% efficiency rating;
  • High efficiency HVAC systems; and a
  • Variable refrigerant volume (VRV) heat recovery system.

The VRV system improves tenant comfort by using an energy efficient R-410 refrigerant which allows for switching from heating to cooling with a touch of the thermostat, much like a typical air source heat pump in a single family home. The VRV system also has the flexibility to simultaneously cool and heat different zones. This allows residents on the north side of the building to be heated while and residents on the south side are cooled.

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OTHER BENEFITS

Sustainable concepts and practices will be incorporated into the development design, as well as the adoption of a smoke-free policy at all developments. The property also adhered to “Build San Antonio Green level 2” policy, which addresses water efficiency, indoor air quality, materials sourcing, and site reuse and accessibility. The comprehensive green design strategy allowed the McGuire project to simultaneously minimize operating cost while maximizing occupant health and quality of life benefits.

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SAHA is also focused on developing agency-specific construction and materials standards to achieve long term, cost-efficient management and maintenance of SAHA communities. All development and redevelopment projects would follow SAHA’s construction and materials standards, a city-defined code designed to exceed current and future state and local codes, according to BSAG level 2 criteria.

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Annual Energy Use

(Source Source Energy)
Baseline (2009)
110 kBtu/sq.ft.
Expected (2015)
99 kBtu/sq.ft.
Actual
Coming soon

Energy Savings:

10%

Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2009)
$50,400
Expected (2015)
$48,300
Actual
Coming soon

Cost Savings:

$2,100

Sector Type

Multifamily

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Project Size

58,000 Square Feet

Before: southeast front façade
Before: southeast front façade

After: southeast front façade
After: southeast front façade