Affordable Housing – Green more often than not!

October 13, 2008 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

Everyone has their own image of affordable housing and I can bet that most of you don’t picture it as a green, environmentally friendly space or development. Usually the picture is one of dilapidated public housing projects consisting of gray lifeless looking concrete towers like the famous images of Chicago’s Cabrini Green (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0377/is_/ai_14550838), which has thankfully been torn down long ago.

Well my friends how times have changed!  Mostly because of where affordable housing gets its financing a project is almost always required to be more energy efficient than code requires. In California we have to be 25% more efficient than code requires. Often the funding source will require compliance with one of the several certification programs such as LEED(http://www.usgbc.org/), Green Point Rated (http://www.builditgreen.org/greenpoint-rated) or Enterprise Green Communities(http://www.greencommunitiesonline.org/) as a condition of the financing with substantial penalties for non-compliance.

There are also a significant number of resources available to the developer like the first one here at the Green Affordable Housing Coalition: http://frontierassoc.net/greenaffordablehousing/index.shtml

Even the local city planners are getting into the act as many are now requiring a certain amount of green technology as part of the design approval process. Often they offer incentive like fast track approvals for those project who plan to build a green building. (City of Boston: http://www.cityofboston.gov/dnd/D_green_housing.asp)

Lastly here is an article on a “totally sustainable” affordable housing project in the City of Savannah Georgia via Treehugger.com: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/10/sustainable-public-housing.php

So if you are driving down your local street and notice the neat new or remodeled building with the drought tolerant landscape and the solar panels on the roof you may be looking at the latest project of your area’s affordable housing developer!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Design, Environment. Tags: , , , .

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