In partnership with Community League of the Heights (CLOTH), NYLCV led a campaign in 2014 for the Green159 Initiative. This initiative is focused on the greening of affordable housing, educating consumers and residents on why they should pay attention to more than just their rent prices. Together NYLCV and CLOTH collected signatures of local residents in support of green preservation in their buildings. Now, two years later, a collection of innovative green preservation upgrades are underway on CLOTH’s properties and are projected to save them close over $4 million over thirty years.
The Results are In!
Crauderueff & Associates, which worked closely with CLOTH and SolarOne to make this a reality just released its findings in a report entitled: “The CLOTH GEM – A Green Preservation Model for New York City”. The report evaluates CLOTH’s 36 buildings, comparing the green improvements that the buildings could make. These improvements include green roofs, solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity, solar thermal energy, and overall energy efficiency programs. Out of all of this, we see that both avenues of solar energy will allow for $1.17 million (solar electricity) and 1.35 million (solar thermal), accounting for almost two-thirds of the projected savings over the next 25 years.
The big push is for solar, with 15 buildings receiving solar PV, 7 buildings receiving solar thermal, following with savings in other levels of green technology with 16 receiving a green roof, 29 with energy efficiency upgrades, and 5 with rain gardens. The push for solar is going to allow for a federal incentive programs, and the NY SUN PV Rebate, reducing the overall cost from over $800,000 to less than $500,000 for the full installation. In addition, The amount of green roofs is expected to be well over 35,000 square feet of rooftop being covered over the 16 buildings. There are some buildings receiving multiple upgrades, which will help to continue in their increase in long term cost savings.
So, what’s the big deal?
Washington Heights is a generally underserved area, and the demand for affordable housing is increasing exponentially, especially as the area continues to build – allowing for a massive influx of gentrification. In addition to affordable rent, through, this project shows that these residents can also live in properties that are efficient, healthy, and sustainable. This project is leading the way for reducing emissions in affordable housing, utilizing all of the tools and resources available. It has the potential to create a model that spreads throughout the city.