Washington Columbia #1 and #2

BACKGROUND

Washington Columbia (WC) #1 and #2 are adjacent sister properties constructed in 1920 to house low-income families with Section 8 vouchers. The 3-story walk-up multifamily buildings offer 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments. WC #1 includes 150 units in five buildings and WC #2 includes 175 units in seven buildings. Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (CSNDC) targeted the properties for energy-efficient upgrades because the buildings were outdated, featuring old T-12 fluorescent fixtures, poorly-performing atmospheric boilers near the end of their useful life, and a roof well-suited for solar photovoltaics (PV).

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Before beginning physical building upgrades of WC #1 and #2, CSNDC met internally to ensure goal alignment among its various departments. CSNDC had already committed to the Better Buildings Challenge and had contracted with WegoWise to track its portfolio-wide energy and water consumption.

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SOLUTIONS

CSNDC implemented energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for WC #1 and WC #2 over several years, beginning in 2015 and continuing through 2017. Some of the improvements included:

  • Replaced all common area and in-unit T-12 fluorescent fixtures with LED fixtures;
  • Installed Energy Star® appliances in all units;
  • Replaced atmospheric heat and hot water boilers with high-efficiency condensing boilers;
  • Implemented boiler equipment monitoring and optimization;
  • Installed white roofing, pipe and roof insulation, weather-stripping, and energy-efficient windows; and
  • Installed solar PV for community shared solar.
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The lighting upgrades extended to the on-site computer learning center, which offers computer classes, employment training, and youth and adult enrichment classes. In addition to the energy-efficient building upgrades, CSNDC also installed low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucets and replaced the washers with more efficient models.

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OTHER BENEFITS

The renovation of WC #1 and #2 followed CSNDC’s Green & Healthy Building Guide standards, such as installing recycled vinyl composition tile flooring, providing exercise programs and bicycle storage, and offering on-site recycling. Maintenance staff use green cleaning products and Low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paint when preparing units for resident turnover. The properties are smoke-free, reducing maintenance costs and improving indoor air quality and resident health.

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Annual Energy Use

(Source EUI)
Baseline (2014)
140 kBtu/sq.ft.
Actual (2017)
113 kBtu/sq.ft.

Energy Savings:

19%

Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2014)
$497,000
Actual (2017)
$392,000

Cost Savings:

$105,000

Sector Type

Multifamily

Location

Dorchester, Massachusetts

Project Size

360,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

$1,740,000

Washington Columbia's Solar PV
Washington Columbia's Solar PV

Washington Columbia's Playground
Washington Columbia's Playground

Washington Columbia's New Boilers
Washington Columbia's New Boilers

Washington Columbia's LED Lighting
Washington Columbia's LED Lighting