By Molly Cox

The Residential Green Building Committee met on August 8th, 2016. We started off with announcements of events coming up, and some advocacy news from Craig Foley. Some highlights include the signing of the Energy Omnibus Bill by Governor Baker on 8/8, and although the energy audits at the point of sale in MA did not pass, we were still able to see improvements such as Commercial PACE finance. There is still much to be done, but this is a step in the right direction!

We had a guest speaker, Michael Chavez, who is an Enterprise Rose Fellow on Greening the Fairmount Corridor. Michael is working with the Fairmount/Indigo Line CDC Collaborative in an effort to improve economic opportunity for residents, and focus on the benefits that this Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) will bring along this 9-mile commuter rail. The line runs between South Station and Readville through neighborhoods such as Hyde Park and Dorchester, so the goal will be to develop more affordable housing in these neighborhoods and take advantage of the proximity to public transit.  

Michael presented on his work thus far, and focused on the Cottage Brook project in Dorchester, which includes energy efficiency improvements for all 147 units spread across multiple buildings. The buildings are owned by the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC), and Michael and his team initiated this mod-rehab, with the end goal of saving money but also increasing energy efficiency. They were able to redo the roof and install new windows, along with reducing airflow through the doors and windows. They actually installed new windows within the existing window frames of the building, which ended up being a reliable watertight solution. Additionally, they wanted to reduce heat loss through the walls, so they installed insulation between the exterior walls and the heating units. CLEAResult, the consultant on the job, will perform HERS ratings for 3 of the buildings. The tenants who will rent these units will receive continued education on incentives for continuing to improve energy efficiency in these units, through LEAN or MassSave programs for example. Feel free to read more about Michael Chavez and the project (biography found HERE, read PowerPoint HERE)

We then continued our RGBC meeting to confirm our goals for the next few months. We have some exciting projects coming up, so stay tuned for our progress!

Keep an eye out for some events coming up: Our next committee meeting on September 12th, where we will have another guest speaker, so stay tuned on who it will be! Also, the Green Building Showcase is coming up on September 22nd (Register HERE).

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