CPACE Financing for Hurricane-Proofing a Nursing Center


In 2016, Hannon Armstrong and its commercial PACE partner Counterpointe SRE closed a deal with Southern Oaks Rehab and Nursing Center for $500,000 in PACE financing for resiliency and energy efficiency upgrades to its Pensacola, Florida, facility. Southern Oaks is an outpatient care center with 210 beds located on the Florida panhandle, which is increasingly at risk of being impacted by powerful tropical storms and hurricanes. Year-round hurricane preparedness is now the “new normal” in Florida, and there is more pressure than ever to be ready for whatever the weather might bring. Recognizing the need to protect staff and patients in the event of extreme weather, Southern Oaks sought to upgrade the facility’s vulnerable components.

Southern Oaks partnered with Counterpointe through their engineering firm Leidos, and the $500,000 PACE deal paid for a full retrofit of the building’s windows and roof. The installed windows are rated to withstand winds of up to 200 MPH and have a low-e/argon glazing U-value of .28. Low U-value windows provide greater resistance to heatflow, resulting in cooler interior temperatures and less demand from cooling units. The roof was upgraded using products approved by Miami-Dade County (where the requirements for hurricane-proof products are greater than most other counties) and is able to withstand hurricane force winds of 140 MPH. The project was completed in February 2017. 

By using PACE financing, Southern Oaks was able to implement the improvements with no out-of-pocket costs. On a community level, these improvements allow more opportunities for ‘shelter-in-place’ during and after natural disasters, thus reducing the strain on centrally-located public facilities and services. The region was affected by Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Nate in the late summer/fall of 2017, and while neither storm caused significant damage in Pensacola, the building would have been protected had the storms been stronger. In addition to the increased safety for patients and staff, insurance premiums for Southern Oaks were reduced due to the hurricane-proofing upgrades.

Commercial PACE is a financing structure that allows a property owner to fund an entire project upfront and repay the cost incrementally as a line item assessment on the property tax bill. To learn more about using commercial PACE financing for resiliency projects, see the Better Buildings Commercial PACE for Resiliency Toolkit.



Pensacola, Florida

Project Dates:

February 2016 - February 2017

Financing Type:

Commercial PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy)