Panelists: Matthew Lister, Deputy Director, Planning Practice, Jonathan Rose Companies Chuck Kooshian, Senior Transportation Policy Analyst, Center for Clean Air Policy Denise Fairchild, President, Emerald Cities Collaborative Each panelist will provide information on their respective data collection and research efforts that illustrate the lifecycle costs and benefits of developing energy-efficient and location-efficient housing and making energy efficiency improvements in existing housing. The session will also describe how sustainable development can spur workforce development opportunities for local residents and create well-paying “green” jobs. My Intro: I oversee all aspects of Enterprise’s comprehensive evaluation efforts to document the health, economic and environmental benefits of green affordable housing. Through this effort, we aim to prove that by providing green housing, we can make homes both more affordable and healthier through lower energy consumption and healthier living environments.
The idea that we, as humans, are affected by our environment is nothing new… We also know that the overuse of resources will only continue to drive up the price of energy and hurt the most vulnerable members of our society. Often, utility bills impose a substantial financial hardship on low-income households, forcing many to make tradeoffs between electricity and other basic necessities. A recent study showed the painful sacrifices low-income families must make in order to pay their utility bills: 42 percent went without medical or dental care for a year.
Enterprise believes that a healthy, affordable home is a cornerstone of success for individuals and families. Founded in 1982, by the successful real estate developer Jim Rouse and his wife Patty, Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. Over nearly 30 years, Enterprise has invested $11 billion in communities to produce over 280,000 affordable homes. In 2004, Enterprise launched Green Communities, the first national green building program focused entirely on affordable housing. Through Green Communities, Enterprise provides funding and technical assistance to support affordable housing developers bring green projects to life. Over a five year period beginning in 2004, Enterprise Green Communities provided more than $700 million in grants, loans and equity to support the production and preservation of over 17,000 smartly located, energy-efficient, water conserving, healthy affordable homes in 300 communities nationwide.
The foundation of Enterprise Green Communities is our Green Communities Criteria. The Criteria include design and construction practices that focus on reducing the negative impact of buildings on their occupants and on the environment. The Criteria provide affordable housing developers with a cost-effective road map to address each of the eight categories you see here, with principles that work together to: Create high-quality, healthy living environments; Lower residents’ utility costs; and Protect the environment by conserving energy, water and other resources It’s important to note that the Criteria are applicable to all housing construction types… in a variety of geographic locations. Our evaluation work enables us to verify that the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria provide right framework for delivering benefits cost-effectively. Most importantly, this information creates a feedback loop to developers of green communities projects so they were aware of the benefits of going green and to better understand the costs and expected performance improvements.
In 2009, we released a report outlining the cost effectiveness of the Green Communities Criteria. This report shares findings from our evaluation of 27 green communities developments and showed that the estimated lifetime savings exceed the initial investment of incorporating green measures into affordable housing. From a strictly financial standpoint, the projected “lifetime” utility cost savings, averaging $4,851 per dwelling unit (discounted to today’s dollars) are sufficient to repay the average $4,524 per-unit cost of complying with the Criteria. The average cost per dwelling unit to incorporate the energy and water criteria was $1,917 , returning $4,851 in predicted lifetime utility cost savings. In other words, the energy and water conservation measures not only paid for themselves but also produced another $2,900 in projected lifetime savings per unit . Average useful life: 15 years for water and 20 years for energy. ***Our calculation of lifetime savings took into account the useful life of various improvements, anticipated increases in energy and water/sewer costs of nearly 5 percent, and a present value discount factor of 6 percent to express utility cost savings in 2009 dollars. The predicted savings from actual usage were based on a subset of 10 projects for which Enterprise had access to utility usage data for a one-year period.***
As part of this study, we conducted a comparative analysis for each property within our dataset of actual consumption against predicted consumption to verify whether or not a property is meeting (or close to) its performance targets. As this slide shows, most projects are very close to their predictions but the science is not yet exact… Value of Utility analysis: In 2008, one of our property owners completed a database that contains utility data for three of their properties. While reviewing this information, it was apparent that water usage per resident at their Green Communities property (Spring Terrace) was 50% higher than another comparable Green Communities property (Skyline Terrace) within their portfolio. Maintenance staff conducted a water audit and found an inoperable Hot Water circulation pump . They discovered that the hot water circulation pump was not working, it was replaced at a cost of $1271.30. Result : Since trouble shooting the issue, the water data shows in general, water usage has decreased approximately 43% per month compared to the same month in the previous year. Enterprise aims to implement a comprehensive Data Platform to effectively monitor utility usage of affordable housing developments to verify the success of conservation measures. Tracking and analyzing utility data will help to confirm cost assumptions, operational savings and other health and environmental benefits, including reduced carbon emissions.
Unfortunately, a number of projects in our survey universe failed to achieve one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to reduce utility usage—namely, installing fixtures with low-flow rates. One reason for overlooking water fixtures may be that developers did not specify the right fixtures and sub-contractors defaulted to previously supplied fixtures. Our water calculation assumptions show that although toilet-flow rates may be low, sink usage and shower runtimes are much longer and account for slightly higher indoor water use. According to the EPA’s WaterSense program, 26.7 percent of our daily water use is consumed by flushing the toilet, 16.8 percent used in the shower, 15.7 percent at the faucet, 21.7 percent for clothes washers, and 5.3 percent for other usage, with the additional 13.7 percent accounted for by leaks. A leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water every day. One strategy for ensuring that the appropriate water fixtures are installed is to review the project’s plans and specifications for proper flow rates.
Indoor Air Quality Control strategies direct impact residents, specifically by increasing comfort, health, safety and durability. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people in the US spend 90% of their time indoors . As such, it is critical to ensure that the indoor environment is healthy! The goal with healthy buildings is to reduce the toxins that can enter a home, such as from finish materials (paints, adhesives, flooring products, composite wood, etc), from exhaust from the garage, or from mold.
HUD provided a Healthy Homes Grant to conduct a longitudinal study of residents before and after they moved into the Breathe Easy Homes. The results of this research was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health in January. The results of this study are truly amazing. Children with asthma living in these homes experienced a 60 percent increase in symptom-free days and a 67 percent reduction in the use of urgent clinical care. This was due to a significant reduction in exposure to mold rodents and moisture. Reducing the need for urgent clinical care and prescription drugs provides a significant monetary savings for both family and the community. The modest $6,000 cost increase associated with Breathe Easy Home upgrades is equivalent to a one-night hospital stay or the approximate annual amount families pay in medical care.
In May 2010, we were approached by NCHH to include about 200 units from Enterprise’s NYC weatherization pipeline into their HUD supported Watts to Well-being study. Energy upgrades such as heating system upgrades, air sealing, and other methods will likely improve building moisture management, pest control, comfort and lighting, which may have important impacts on occupant health due to reduced exposure to mold, asthma triggers, combustion by-products such as NO2 and CO, pesticides (and pests), and reduced physical and mental stress associated with comfort and lighting .
Currently, we are working with Mt. Sinai develop a comprehensive study to evaluate the health effects of Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, with emphasis on respiratory health, quality of life, and healthcare utilization. OBJECTIVE: To measure environmental exposures and to study the health effects of living in green housing. HYPOTHESIS: Living in a green apartment building will decrease exposure to air pollutants and allergens, and will positively impact health.
Facilitators Notes: One of the best ways to keep a living environment healthy is to enforce a no-smoking policy. Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in US, killing 53,000 nonsmokers/year. For every 8 smokers one non smoker is killed. Source: U.S. Surgeon General (2006), Asthma Regional Council (2006), Smoke Free New England
These data come from affordable housing in Maine in 2009. http://smoke-freehousingnewengland.health.officelive.com/default.aspx
In closing… Through our efforts in evaluating the impact of green affordable housing, we hear time and time again that the creation and maintenance of healthy spaces really resonates with residents. As such, we are now deeply focused on tracking the health effects of our Enterprise Green Communities Criteria on residents with an emphasis on respiratory health, quality of life, and healthcare utilization. Currently, we are working with the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine to build out and implement this research over the next two years.
SSC2011_Yiance Hernandez PPT
Building the Economic and Social Case for Sustainable Development Practices September 26, 2011
Enterprise Green Communities <ul><li>In 2004, Enterprise launched Green Communities with a bold aspiration to prove that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Green affordable housing can deliver significant benefits to residents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Green and affordable can be one and the same. </li></ul></ul>
Integrative Design Energy Efficiency Location + Neighborhood Fabric Materials Beneficial to the Environment Healthy Living Environments Water Conservation 2011 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria Operations + Maintenance Site Improvements
Report Findings <ul><li>Estimated lifetime savings exceed the initial investment of incorporating Green Communities Criteria into affordable housing </li></ul>
<ul><li>Installing water-conserving fixtures and appliances result in a very high returns on investment in terms of utility cost savings. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average savings of $352 to $935 per home, versus average cost premium of $80 per home. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In simple payback terms, the investment is recouped in 2 to 3 years. </li></ul></ul>Quickest Payback = Water Conservation
Ongoing Evaluation <ul><li>Data Set: </li></ul><ul><li>30 affordable housing projects, consisting of 2,200 housing units </li></ul><ul><li>Preliminary analysis: </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental cost ~ 2.7% of TDC ($4,200 per unit) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About $2,100 per unit to meet energy criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>About $151 per unit to meet water criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Davis Langdon will perform financial analysis of the properties </li></ul>
IAQ Control Strategies <ul><li>Remove Pollutants </li></ul><ul><li>Materials with low toxicity, smoke-free building </li></ul><ul><li>Seal or Isolate </li></ul><ul><li>Radon Mitigation, garage isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Ventilate </li></ul><ul><li>Local exhaust, whole-building ventilation </li></ul><ul><li>Filter </li></ul>
Slides Courtesy of Tom Phillips, Seattle Housing Authority Results - Breath Easy Homes Study
Do Residential Energy Conservation Upgrades Improve Health? <ul><li>Purpose of Study: </li></ul><ul><li>Characterize effect of energy upgrades on resident health in affordable homes in three cities: Boston, Chicago and New York City. </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipated Outcomes: </li></ul><ul><li>Improvements in self-reported health measures between baseline and post retrofit </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in air concentrations of CO, CO 2 , NO 2 , and PM 2.5 between baseline and post-retrofit </li></ul>Ongoing Health Research – Watts to Well-Being Study
<ul><li>OBJECTIVE: To measure environmental exposures and to study the health effects of living in green housing. </li></ul><ul><li>HYPOTHESIS: Living in a green apartment building will decrease exposure to air pollutants and allergens, and will positively impact health. </li></ul>Ongoing Health Research – Mt. Sinai Study
Creating Healthy Environments: Consider Smoke Free Housing <ul><li>Resident Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Improves resident health </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces complaints </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces unit transfer requests </li></ul><ul><li>Most tenants want smoke free environments – survey tenants to find out! </li></ul><ul><li>Owner Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce maintenance costs </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce complaints </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce unit transfer </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce unit turnover costs </li></ul><ul><li>Can reduce insurance </li></ul><ul><li>Can increase demand </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent with HUD Guidance </li></ul>
Smoke Free Saves Property Owners Money Source: Smoke Free Housing New England
Thank you! For more information: Website: www.greencommunitiesonline.org Mailbox: [email_address]