WinnCompanies partners with U.S. Department of Energy & Housing and Urban Development on President's Better Buildings Challenge
December 27, 2013 - Green Buildings
Launched in December of 2011 by President Obama, the Better Buildings Initiative takes a broad multi-strategy approach to accelerate energy savings through leadership, innovation, partnerships and demonstrated best practices. The Better Buildings Challenge is the central leadership initiative through which organizations of all types - local and state governments, schools, business, and manufacturers - commit to portfolio-wide energy savings goals and to share successful strategies that help achieve these goals and overcome financial and technical barriers in the marketplace.
"By committing to the energy efficiency goals of the Better Buildings Challenge, WinnCompanies has taken a significant step towards reducing long term energy costs, supporting innovative technologies, and creating good jobs," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Working together, we will increase housing affordability for owners and residents and foster healthier communities and neighborhoods."
As a Partner in the Better Buildings Challenge, Winn is committed to reducing the energy used across its portfolio by 20% or more within ten years. Working with the DOE and HUD, Winn will showcase the solutions they use and the results they achieve to help spur new investment and savings in commercial buildings, multifamily housing and industrial plants, as well as improve the environment, and reduce dependency on foreign oil.
"Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge are leading by example, demonstrating their commitment to providing more efficient and comfortable homes for their tenants that save money and energy," said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. "We applaud these partners for joining in this leadership initiative and we look forward to working with them as they make their communities more energy efficient and foster greater economic growth."
About a quarter of U.S. households live in multifamily housing units and spend $40 billion on energy costs each year. Making these housing units 20% more energy efficient would save more than $7 billion per year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 430 million tons. Through the Better Buildings Challenge expansion, 50 multifamily partners - representing roughly 200,000 units and more than 190 million s/f - have committed to cutting their energy use by 20% in 10 years.
"Winn is committed to sustainable development and this is an incredible opportunity to work with others in the industry to reduce energy usage across the United States," said Darien Crimmin, vice president of energy and sustainability at WinnCompanies. "We are proud to be a part of President Obama's Better Buildings Challenge and have the chance to use our expertise to further investment in energy initiatives for the multifamily housing industry."
Crimmin participated in a White House Roundtable discussion this week on the President's Better Buildings Challenge. The meeting was also attended by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, among other senior administration officials.
Crimmin has worked in the business of sustainability for more than 10 years. Under his leadership, Winn has partnered with numerous local, state and federal agencies to reduce energy costs and promote investments in sustainability. For example, earlier this year, Winn launched the Open Market ESCO, a pilot program designed to finance energy-efficient retrofits for low-income housing and allow property owners to pay for the upgrades through reduced energy costs. This $9 million pilot program is a collaboration with the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) and was established in part with a grant from HUD's Energy Innovation Fund.
Crimmin also played a key role in helping WinnDevelopment, the real estate development arm of WinnCompanies, undertake the nation's largest "Deep Energy Retrofit" project at the Castle Square Apartments in Boston. The project has achieved more than a 50 percent reduction in energy usage, and earned LEED Platinum certification.
The LEED Platinum certification for Castle Square is the second time a Winnproperty has received the highest environmental rating. Its Oliver Lofts project in Boston is also LEED Platinum certified and has recently won aMultifamily Executive Award in the Mixed Income Project of the Year category; an Achievement in Sustainability award as part of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) 2012 J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation; and the Rental Housing Association (RHA) award for "Best Green Project."