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Helping Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis

By Green Coast on 22 Jul 2015

GCE Services is serving as the energy management consultant for HRI Properties’ Iberville public housing rebuild
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GCE Services is serving as the energy management consultant for HRI Properties’ Iberville public housing rebuild

It is no secret that New Orleans is facing a crisis in affordable housing. According to a recent study from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, New Orleans ranked second highest nationwide for renters paying more than half of their income for housing. The challenge becomes how to preserve existing affordable housing, but also more importantly, how to increase the number of units that are available.

Part of the solution rests on creating greener, healthier and more affordable housing that includes

  • Reduced energy consumption and water costs,
  • Less wear and tear on building systems, and
  • Improved tenant comfort.

Green Coast partner, GCE Services, can provide just such a solution. New Ecology Inc., an organization recognized as a national leader in community-based sustainable development, most notably in the movement to green affordable housing and community developments, recently announced GCE Services as its Southeastern partner. GCE Services, which has benchmarked energy use in every city-owned building in New Orleans as well as more than 2,000 multifamily units for energy efficiency, will supply energy efficiency expertise as well as building energy management services.

Greener, healthier, resilient and more affordable multifamily housing can be a reality says GCE Services partner, Jackie Dadakis.

“Developers, facility managers and building owners increasingly want these kinds of improvements, not only because some of these have become building code requirements, but also because they are cost effective,” Dadakis says.

For new construction projects or rehabilitating existing housing, GCE Services assists clients by

  • Modeling utility usage and projected costs based on building design, size, location and equipment choices to help assess payback time for investment;
  • Providing information on incentives to finance costs; and
  • Serving as a certified 3rd party verifier for various green building standards (Energy Star v. 3, NAHB ICC 700, LEED-H); and post-construction energy management.

GCE Services is currently serving as the energy management consultant for HRI Properties’ Iberville public housing rebuild, which is a mixed income complex that will offer a total of 830 units including public housing and workforce housing. The complex is within walking distance of the soon-to-be-open biomedical district, which will include the Veterans Affairs Department’s new hospital and the University Medical Center.

“We work closely with the design and construction team to make sure the building meets Enterprise Green Criteria goals for energy use and indoor air quality performing design reviews and construction spot checks through out the build,” Dadakis says.

Categories: Building Green

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