Location Efficiency and Housing Type – Boiling it Down to BTUs

BTU Consumption

We came across an article from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) touting multi-family, location-efficient projects as the most energy efficient form of housing. According to the EPA study,

“The most effective way to reduce energy consumption is to locate homes…where households could replace some automobile use with transit use.”

As architects who design 21st Century sustainable communities one project at a time, our design for the transit-oriented mixed-use 100% affordable housing development at 270 Centre Street in Roxbury supports the long-term sustainability of Jackson Square by incorporating a range of strategies that boosts energy efficiency. First, its location-efficient site, in walking distance to stores, services, and mass transit, will reduce residents’ reliance on cars. Secondly, the multi-family design limits heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer by sharing internal walls. Finally, the building incorporates both energy-efficient construction techniques andsystems, like a reflective roof membrane and energy efficient windows, and common-sense sustainable practices, like daylighting in public circulation spaces, to drive down energy requirements.

The EPA study verifies what we’ve long believed: Mixed-use transit-oriented buildings have environmental and economic benefits. They shrink per capita energy use, which reduces dependence on fossil fuels, and they free up resources, as lower energy costs mean residents have more money to spend in the community. The 1400 applications JPNDC received for 270 Centre Street’s 40 housing units demonstrate the overwhelming need and strong demand for this type of affordable, sustainable development in Boston.

To read the EPA artcle, please click here: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/location_efficiency_BTU.htm

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