Energy Star Program
LMHA's premier "green" site is Liberty Green, a HOPE VI Revitalization project currently nearing completion on the former Clarksdale site in downtown Louisville. While the site's new name was drawn from the current and original names of the central roadway that runs through the six-block area (Liberty Street and Green Street) - the name also aptly describes the community's cutting edge environmental standards. Every rental and homeownership unit at Liberty Green is constructed per Energy Star efficiency guidelines and equipped with Energy Star labeled appliances. Units at Liberty Green have been verified as 40% more efficient than homes built to the 1993 National Model Energy Code. This has resulted in significant utility cost savings to residents of Liberty Green.
Liberty Green is the first mixed-income development in Kentucky to receive the EPA Energy Star National Award in Excellence in Affordable Housing (2007). The site was also the winner of Energy Star Regional Awards in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Our efforts at Liberty Green have virtually institutionalized the Energy Star program
into the Authority's new development operations. LMHA staff, along with HUD and our architectural consultants and developers, have refined the protocol necessary to design, construct, monitor and obtain the Energy Star rating so it can be easily utilized at future projects. In addition to the Liberty Green HOPE VI site, LMHA is phasing in Energy Star rated refrigerators, air conditioning (AC) units and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) at the nearly 4,300 public housing units it owns and manages. For more information about incorporating Energy Star components into multi-family assisted housing projects contact Bernard Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LMHA Agency-Wide Greening Initiative
While the Housing Authority has maintained a long standing commitment to energy efficiency, our efforts went to the next level when Louisville was chosen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in November 2007 as one of five US cities to become a model partner of its Energy Star program. Mayor Jerry Abramson accepted the EPA's Energy Star Challenge and rolled out his Go Green Louisville! Campaign. LMHA quickly jumped on board for this initiative to adopt sustainable practices, including the goal to reduce energy use in city by 10% or more by the year 2010. Our previous success with the Energy Star program at Liberty Green also served as a catalyst to establish an agency-wide energy efficiency program.
To develop and begin implementing specific greening strategies, LMHA formed a Green Committee comprised of LMHA Board members, Executive Director Tim Barry and other staff members, as well as our planning and communications consultants. After several months of research and discussions, LMHA's Board approved our greening goals (see box below) and a comprehensive action plan of short and long-term initiatives. The Authority also recently completed energy audits for its public housing inventory and became an official Energy Star Partner. Results from audits and the Action plan will help drive plans for future capital projects.
Greening Initiative Goals
LMHA intends to champion the environmental and health benefits of our greening efforts and become a leader in the nation among affordable housing providers through the following broad goals:
Mayor's Kilowatt Crackdown
During 2009, LMHA competed with other local building owners in the Kilowatt Crackdown, a contest initiated by Mayor Jerry Abramson to show businesses how "going green can save green." The Authority selected Avenue Plaza, a 18 floor high-rise that is home to 225 elderly and disabled households, as its first entry into the contest. Avenue Plaza also houses LMHA's Central Office facilities, including 66 staff members and 57 computer stations.
Avenue Plaza underwent an extensive energy overhaul during 2009 based on recommendations from a recent energy audit. Over 500 light fixtures were replaced with energy efficient models. New chillers were installed, as well as weather-stripping and door sweeps on all exterior stairwell doors. HVAC units in all apartments were also cleaned and repaired, in addition to several other energy saving projects. These efforts resulted in an annual utility cost savings equivalent to $16,606 (based on December 2009 gas and electric rates), as well as recognition of Avenue Plaza as one of five finalists among 102 buildings for the Kilowatt Cup award. LMHA will continue to implement improvements that will further reduce gas and electric consumption in upcoming years.
Energy Star has presented the Kilowatt Crackdown as a model for other cities in the nation, and has featured Louisville on its website. The contest was also honored as a Best Practice by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and was one of four finalists in the large city sector of the National League of Cities Municipal Awards of Excellence. For additional information see http://www.louisvilleky.gov/GoGreen/News/2009/06-16-09-kilowatt_best_practice.htm.
Residents Recycle at Avenue Plaza
Through a joint effort with Louisville Metro's PW&A - Solid Waste Management Services Division, LMHA launched a recycling pilot program in 2009 for residents of Avenue Plaza. Co-mingled mainstream recyclables were collected weekly and residents competed in monthly "Tally Rallies" for the floor that collected the most recyclables. Resident floor monitors were also enlisted to help with these efforts.
Due to its resounding success (over 10 tons of recyclables were collected during a six-month period), the program will continue on an on-going basis at Avenue Plaza. The Authority also has plans underway to expand the recycling program to other sites.
The Residents Recycle pilot and promotional materials were funded through a grant from the Kentucky Division of Waste Management. To request copies of fliers, posters, door hangers, magnets and other promotional and educational materials contact ward@LMHA1.org.
Avenue Plaza residents at Tally Rally kick-off.
Robert Kennedy, Jr. visits Liberty Green
Environmental activist Robert Kennedy, Jr. joined Secretary Jonathan Miller from the Kentucky Finance and
Administration Cabinet, and members of the Kentucky Clean Energy Corps. for a press conference at the award-winning Liberty Green HOPE VI site. Kennedy applauded LMHA, along with Louisville leaders and community members, for our efforts to green the city in a way that saves dollars, creates green collar jobs and protects our environment.
LEED Certification for the Liberty Green Community Center
Located at the corner of Jefferson and Jackson streets, the newly completed Liberty Green Community Center is projected to be LMHA's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building and the first LEED certified public housing facility in Kentucky. Funded in part by the Clarksdale HOPE VI Revitalization grant, the Romanesque sytle two-floor facility has a total of 13,400 square feet and houses eight one-bedroom public housing apartments (two are accessible) in addition to offices, community meeting/training rooms, classrooms and a commercial kitchen. Total construction cost for the center was just over $3 million. Key "green" features of the building include:
- Exterior wall insulating concrete forms (ICFs);
- Geo-thermal heating and cooling;
- Pervious brick pavers in the parking lots (to limit storm water run-off);
- Energy Star appliances;
- No-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint;
- Energy Efficient windows; and
- Compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs) and motion detectors throughout.
LMHA has applied for a LEED rating for the Center. Notification of the rating level, which will be forthcoming within the year, will likely be the "Gold" category. The Liberty Green Community Center is featured on the Kentucky U.S. Green Building Council's webpage (www.usgbckentucky.org).
Vine Street Green Roof Installation
LMHA is installing its first green roof at the Vine Street office building. The roof will feature a variety of low-maintenance and drought-resistant native plants such as sedums, a cold-hard succulent with water storing leaves. Green roofs help reduce storm water run-off while mitigating urban heat island effects and improving air quality. The project will be completed in Spring 2011.
As a result of a generous grant from the Metropolitan Sewer District, YouthBuild Louisville installed a rain garden at the renovated St. Peter Claver Chapel, the community center for Sheppard Square residents. The rain garden uses native Kentucky perennial plantings that absorb rainwater from the building's roof and walkways.
The Authority is looking at installing rain gardens at other sites and is currently testing pervious pavers as another rainwater management technique at Liberty Green. Pervious brick pavers were recently installed on Clay Street to allow water to filtrate through the surface to underlying soils.
Nine New Homes in Smoketown Receive National Green Certification
Louisville Metro Housing Authority also honored locally in Kilowatt Crackdown competition and with the Green Spark Award
Press Release - April 26, 2013
The Louisville Metro Housing Authority announced today that the development of nine new homes in the Smoketown neighborhood has received the Enterprise Green Communities' national certification for homebuilding and design. The nines homes - eight in the 500 block of East Breckinridge Street and one on South Shelby Street - are the first to receive this certification in Kentucky. The certification honors the development for incorporating numerous "Green" building practices, such as water conservation, energy efficiency, the use of materials beneficial to the environment, the creation of a healthy living environment and the use of green practices in operation and maintenance.
The nine homes are part of the Housing Authority's Sheppard Square - HOPE VI Revitalization, and are the first replacements for the public housing complex that was razed last May to make way for mixed-income housing. The homes range from 1390 square feet to 1452 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Nine families have moved into the homes who were former public housing residents.
"This project in Smoketown is a wonderful example of how federal dollars work to provide affordable living for the citizens of Louisville," said Tim Barry, executive director of Louisville Metro Housing Authority. "Even more so, receiving this Green certification demonstrates how these homes can be built to include cost effective, energy efficient and sustainable practices which provide low-income families with a healthier place to live."
Enterprise Green Communities is the only national green building program focused entirely on affordable housing. Enterprise offers an on-line application process and provides financing and technical assistance to certified developers that have produce and preserved low-income housing built according to their criteria. Specific requirements the homes in Smoketown have met in order to receive the Enterprise certification include:
- Connection to existing development, infrastructure and proximity to services
- Water conserving fixtures
- ENERGY STAR appliances and ENERGY STAR 3.0 building performance
- Radon mitigation
- Mold prevention
Funding for the Smoketown homes was primarily provided by a federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Community Planning and Development, and administered locally by Louisville Metro Community Services and Revitalization. Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) Development Corporation, the housing authority's non-profit subsidiary, received a portion of the grant funds to complete this project.
Virginia Peck, Director of Community Services and Revitalization, said she was proud of the project and the partnership shared with LMHA Development Corporation. "Thanks to the Housing Authority's innovative and dedicated work, these new homes signal the transformation of one of Louisville's most historic and promising neighborhoods."
In addition to the Enterprise Green award, the Louisville Metro Housing Authority received two of Louisville's prestigious awards this month for other green practices - the Kilowatt Cup and the 2013 Green Spark Award. This year's Kilowatt Crackdown competition challenged building owners and operators to track energy use from January 2012 through December 2012 in an effort to improve energy management. Sponsored by Metro Government, the Louisville Energy Alliance and the Environmental Protection Agency, this annual competition has helped many buildings become more efficient.
LMHA's Avenue Plaza was selected as the Kilowatt Cup Winner for superior achievement in energy management, overcoming unique obstacles and/or emphasizing energy efficiency through no or low cost practices. LMHA's Avenue Plaza, built in 1974 and located at 400 S. Eighth Street, is an 18-floor public housing facility dedicated primarily to senior residents.
LMHA was also the recipient in the "Business" category of the Green Spark Award for green practices in two HOPE VI sites - the Villages of Park DuValle in West Louisville and Liberty Green near Downtown Louisville - as well as for their commitment to becoming a leader in environmentally responsible operations. Sponsored by Louisville Gas and Electric, proceeds from this event benefit Project Warm, an agency which provides free weatherization education and services for low-income households.
For more information about Louisville Metro Housing Authority's HOPE VI initiatives, public housing facilities and other projects, visit www.lmha1.org. For more information about Community Services and Revitalization's work to increase and develop the supply of affordable housing in Louisville, visit www.louisvilleky.gov/csr.