WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first existing multifamily housing properties to earn the new Energy Star multifamily certification for superior energy performance. The EPA recognized 17 apartment and condo buildings across the country for their energy use reduction, increased affordability, public health protection, and efforts in combatting climate change.

“Communities, renters, and businesses all benefit when multifamily properties operate more efficiently,” said Gina McCarthy, administrator, EPA. “When these buildings use less energy, they also prevent greenhouse gas emissions, increase comfort, and lower costs for renters — making it a win-win for the environment, public health, and the economy.”

By reducing the amount of energy consumed, these properties cut utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing energy, and help meet the goals of the president’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for multifamily buildings to be 20 percent more efficient by 2020.

The 17 properties on the list demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits achieved by owners and managers when they apply a comprehensive approach to managing energy use in their buildings. These pioneering apartment and condo buildings perform among the top 25 percent of similar properties nationwide. They took a variety of approaches to save energy from investing in technological upgrades, such as high-efficiency lighting, to low-cost operations and maintenance changes, such as adjusting the schedules for outdoor lighting and ensuring equipment was only running when needed.

The new 1-100 Energy Star score and certification for existing multifamily properties is based on nationally representative survey data provided by Fannie Mae and will be integrated into other green building certification programs including the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. It’s the first time existing multifamily properties have been able to gain Energy Star certification. Previously, only new construction multifamily properties were eligible to earn certification by meeting prescriptive design requirements for high performance. In addition to Fannie Mae and the USGBC, the EPA is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Freddie Mac to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s multifamily housing. The 17 Energy Star-certified multifamily buildings are: 30-50 21st, New York; 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago; The Ashley at RiverHouse, Arlington, Virginia; Aspira Apartments, Seattle; AvalonBay Communities — The Albemarle, Washington, District of Columbia; AvalonBay Communities — The Statesman, Washington, District of Columbia; Castle Square, Boston; Circa Green Lake Apartments, Seattle; ECO Modern Flats, Fayetteville, Arkansas; Harvard School of Public Health — Shattuck International House, Boston; Jeffery Parkway at 6731 South Jeffery Boulevard, Chicago; Peter Cooper Village, New York; Prescott Wallingford, Seattle; River City - 800 South Wells, Chicago; Stuyvesant Town, New York; Terrific Tenements, 423 W 48th Street, New York; and Terrific Tenements 527 W 47th Street, New York.

Publication date: 12/22/2014 

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