Wexford Manor Dedication
On December 12th, members of the Viridiant team joined Wesley Housing Development Corporation and president and CEO Shelley Murphy for the dedication of Wexford Manor Apartments, a 74-unit development funded by utilizing both 9% and 4% low-income housing tax credits in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Wesley Housing Development Corporation has been a pioneer in the affordable housing sector in Northern Virginia since 1974 and has sponsored the development of over 2,100 total housing units serving over 25,000 individuals. With housing costs in Fairfax and surrounding areas being some of the most expensive in the country, Wexford Manor is a prime example of the dedication Wesley Housing has toward to the community it serves. In addition to its affordability, Wexford Manor obtained EarthCraft Gold Certification through the diligent work of the project team, including Wiencek and Associates, Harkins Builders, Inc., and the guidance of Chris Conway, technical advisor for Viridiant. Through EarthCraft certification, Wexford Manor is able to provide low utility bills and exceptional occupant air quality, comfort, and durability standards to residents. Improvements made to the Community Resource Center allow for the expansion of one of a kind tenant services, including specialized programs for adults, children, families, and seniors. Congratulations to Wesley Housing and the Wexford Manor team!
Photo Credits: Wesley Housing Development Corporation
$5M renovation wraps up at William Byrd
RichmondBizSense – March 23, 2017–
A nearly century-old building that’s spent the past two decades as senior apartments has been brought into the 21st century with a $5 million upgrade.
City officials and firms involved in the 18-month renovation of the William Byrd building, the 11-story former hotel across West Broad Street from the Science Museum of Virginia, celebrated the project’s completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the lobby Wednesday morning.
Mayor Levar Stoney cut the ribbon alongside representatives of Richmond-based Project Homes, which purchased and renovated the former William Byrd Hotel in 1996 as low-income senior housing. Project Homes owns the building with Virginia Community Development Corp. through an entity called William Byrd Hotel Associates.
Other firms involved include Richmond-based HD Advisors, architecture firm Community Design Studio and Raleigh-based general contractor Clancy & Theys, which took over the project through a bidding process after original contractor Community Housing Partners bowed out.
Also on hand were representatives with Viridiant, a Richmond-based nonprofit that consulted on the project to achieve EarthCraft certification for eco-friendly construction and other green building techniques, and Chesterfield-based Epoch Properties, which manages the building.
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Support HB 1565
Local Tax and Regulatory Incentives; Green Development Zones
HB 1565 is a by-partisan bill patroned by Del. Webert and co-patroned by Del. Keam that enables municipalities to elect local tax and regulatory incentives for Green Development Zones. EarthCraft certification is a pathway provided to meet that designation. As we’ve seen with The Impact on Energy Efficient Design and Construction on LIHTC in Virginia, the EarthCraft family of programs effectively achieves real energy savings. Green development zones, often refered to as “eco-districts” can leverage economic development dollars to attract sustainable businesses and grow green jobs.
Free Bulletin: Benchmarking
People quantify many aspects of the world around them – from the fuel economy of vehicles to their heart rate while exercising. Benchmarking has become increasingly commonplace, but it has lagged behind in the building sector even though it is easier to do than many might think. In this bulletin, we show how to get started with building benchmarking and how to use the data to make more informed decisions.
Download the FREE bulletin from October’s lecture which provides resources to help building owners, renters and homeowners better understand the value of benchmarking.
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Stony Point Design/Build Prepares for Sales of the First—and Only—Earthcraft Multifamily Condominium in Charlottesville
Stony Point Design/Build Prepares for Sales of the First—and Only—Earthcraft Multifamily Condominium in Charlottesville with the Announcement of A New Director of Sales and Marketing
Cvilletomorrow.org, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 8:40 a.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia, August 30, 2016—Stony Point Design/Build prepares for sales of the only EarthCraft Multifamily condominium in Charlottesville with the announcement of a new Director of Sales and Marketing. This appointment follows the ground breaking and anticipated completion of the River House Condominium project in Riverside Village—just 1.3 miles from Downtown Charlottesville.
“We’re not just building houses. We’re building lifestyle-inspired homes [at Riverside Village] that reflect our buyer’s wishes and dreams,” says Jodi Mills, new Director of Sales and Marketing, Stony Point Design/Build. “And we certify our homes with EarthCraft Multifamily because we want to pass on the value of high-performance building to our home buyers. When you truly listen to what people want, it makes all the difference in the world.”
“We are thrilled to have Jodi Mills join our team as Director of Sales and Marketing,” says Chris Henry, General Manager and COO, Stony Point Design/Build. “She is a warm, true professional with deep industry knowledge and experience. She will further drive our brand promise of building efficient, quality, functional spaces—building better by design—and building customer loyalty with the long list of benefits EarthCraft certification promises.”
The EarthCraft Multifamily program is a green building certification that provides a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills and protect the environment. EarthCraft Multifamily uses a HERS rating, program guidelines, a points-based worksheet, site visits, and diagnostic testing to verify that projects comply with program standards. By incorporating energy costs that are, on average, 30 percent below those of a typical new condominium, home buyers will notice significant savings on operating and maintenance costs, a healthier living environment with improved indoor air quality, and a quieter home with increased comfort and enhanced durability.
“Being a part of this nimble team is completely energizing,” says Jodi Mills, Director of Sales and Marketing, Stony Point Design/Build. “We have great synergy and trust. There really isn’t anything we can’t do together!”
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Free Bulletin: Planning for Resilient and Sustainable Buildings
A resilient building is also a sustainable building.
Buildings that do not need replacement or significant repairs after a disaster are more sustainable by nature. More critically, resilient buildings provide a safe shelter to their occupants during adverse weather events and following days.
Download the FREE bulletin from August’s lecture which provides resources to help building owners perform a hazard assessment and begin to take action to make their home or building more resilient.
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RTD: Central Virginia market for new home sales continues recovery
Central Virginia market for new home sales continues recovery
By CAROL HAZARD Richmond Times-Dispatch
The central Virginia market for new homes continues to recover, according to a midyear report released Monday morning by the Home Building Association of Richmond and Commonwealth Partnerships, a Henrico County-based marketing firm.
New home closings in the region rose 7 percent (to a total of 1,192) in the first half of the year from the same period a year ago, according to the RVA New Home Market Report.
The average price, however, was essentially unchanged at $369,792. The region is made up of Richmond and Caroline, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan counties.
“Building on the success of 2015, the new home market in central Virginia continues to strengthen,” said Craig Toalson, CEO at the Home Building Association of Richmond. “We expect further improvement during the second half of 2016, although homebuilders face a number of challenges related to increasing costs for labor, materials and developing land.”
Read the full article, here.
Announcing August, October and December Lectures
Viridiant is excited to share topics and launch registration for the remaining lectures in 2016 taking place in August, October and December. These lectures will cover a variety of topics including resiliency and benchmarking as well as balancing energy efficiency, historic preservation and affordability with an applied site-visit.
In order to continue offering this educational series, Viridiant will now charge a nominal fee of $5 to attend these lectures in-person (webinar remains $10). Space is limited at each lecture so this reserves your seat and also entitles you to coffee and donuts, bagels or another breakfast treat.
Viridiant, a 501c3 non-profit, prides itself on offering low cost educational opportunities, programs and services to help builders, homeowners and developers create structures that are more affordable, more livable and more durable.
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VAEEC Guest Post: Study Shows Impact of EarthCraft Certified Affordable Housing
Guest Post by: Stuart Nuckols, Viridiant
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 2015 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranks Virginia 31st in the country for Energy Efficient Programs and Policies. While this may be discouraging to organizations and businesses invested in making the Commonwealth more energy efficient, there is positive energy efficiency policy news to share.
In the last 10 years, Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) and Viridiant, formerly EarthCraft Virginia, have made tremendous progress to successfully implement energy efficiency measures in low income, affordable housing.
Beginning in 2007, VHDA implemented an incentive in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program that encouraged developers to pursue a recognized third-party standard, including Viridiant’s EarthCraft Multifamily program. This successful partnership has resulted in over 230 developments representing more than 16,000 certified apartments in Virginia.
With a substantial number of developments pursuing energy efficient construction, there was an interest in understanding the efficacy of VHDA’s policy decision to promote energy efficient construction in the Virginia rental housing stock. After initial funding from VHDA to benchmark and track unit-level performance of four EarthCraft Multifamily certified projects that had utilized Low Income Housing Tax Credits brought exciting findings, Viridiant partnered with Housing Virginia and the Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR) at Virginia Tech to publish a first-of-its-kind study that demonstrates the impact of energy efficient incentives in the construction of affordable rental housing in Virginia.
The 2015 report, The Impact of Energy Efficient Design and Construction on LIHTC Housing in Virginia, shows that the average EarthCraft Multifamily apartment reduces monthly energy consumption by 464 kilowatt hours saving $54/month on electricity, which amounts to annual savings of $648 and 5,568 kilowatt hours.
In addition to the energy and utility cost analysis, the research team deployed an anonymous survey to residents to gain insight into housing satisfaction, comfort, thermostat set points, appliance use, etc. In general, residents sampled in the study were more satisfied, more comfortable and paid lower utility costs compared to previous housing. An unanticipated finding of the study was the value observed in the independent, third party verification process that was instrumental in helping development teams achieve their energy and sustainability goals.
The study is one of the first in the nation to evaluate unit-level electricity consumption of affordable apartments built to exceed current efficiency standards. Of the 230 EarthCraft Certified Multifamily projects, 15 projects were selected to ensure representation of building type, geographic location, resident population and both new construction and renovation. Using actual utility performance, unit-level energy projection models, building information, and resident surveys, the team concluded that, on average, units performed 16.6% better than Viridiant had modeled, outperforming standard construction by 30%.
With savings reported in this study at almost $650 a year on average and over 16,000 EarthCraft Multifamily dwelling units in Virginia, the projects have the potential to save residents over $10 million in 2016 alone.
A continuation of the study is underway to assess construction costs of energy efficient construction and scheduled to be released in 2017.
Viridiant will continue to support the industry with the EarthCraft family of green building programs, but the organization is also looking to broaden its reach and mission. Recently rebranded as Viridiant, the organization plans to add more services and certifications in areas such as in-home energy monitoring, utility allowances, online energy assessment tools and unbiased consultation on specialties such as solar energy and energy-efficient home mortgages.
The new name, which is derived from a combination of “viridis,” the Latin word for “green,” and “-ant” of “servant” for their mission-driven stewardship, recognizes the group’s expansion into Washington, D.C. and Maryland, and its intention to do more to demonstrate how the latest building science can set a path for businesses and homeowners to create structures that are more affordable, livable and durable.
Viridiant offers win-win solutions for anyone who is interested in living in or building better buildings. “From net-zero to environmental sustainability and improved air quality, we are well versed in helping our partners exceed their goals to deliver high quality products and avoid construction pitfalls,” said KC Bleile, Viridiant’s Executive Director. “Having served nearly 20,000 families and 325 building partners, we’re excited to use what we’ve learned to expand our programs and reach to serve twice as many families over the next ten years.”
Over the coming months, Viridiant will begin to pilot, test and launch new programs and services to serve their broader goals.
Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR), Virginia Tech, 2015. The Impact of Energy Efficient Design and Construction on LIHTC Housing in Virginia, Contract Report submitted to Housing Virginia, Richmond, VA. Retrieved January 15, 2016, from http://www.vchr.vt.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Housing-VA-LIHTC-Study-Full-Report.pdf
In case you missed it, our Winter Newsletter is hot off the press with strategic updates, information on upcoming events, an article on the true cost of owning an EarthCraft home, and more!
Click here or on the image below to check it out.