Although energy efficiency improvements will be made property-wide, the deep energy retrofit will focus on the property’s highly visible 192 unit midrise building, which is located directly on Tremont Street, a gateway to Boston’s South End. Whereas typical energy efficiency improvements only save on average between 20-30%, the proposed Deep Energy Retrofit strategy on the mid-rise is anticipated to reach 70 to 80% energy savings, a ground breaking achievement in existing multifamily housing.
Although similar energy savings are currently being achieved in Europe, this project would be the first existing multifamily building in the U.S. to achieve this level of energy savings. Such a deep energy retrofit approach satisfies the need for a bold and far reaching energy efficiency strategy in existing multifamily affordable housing. Groundbreaking savings will be accomplished through exterior super insulation and air sealing, as well as high efficiency mechanical improvements, to substantially decrease heating and cooling loads. High efficiency lighting, including LEDs, and appliances will also be installed, drastically cutting electric consumption. Additionally, a new super insulated exterior shell on Tremont Street and other streetscape improvements will change the entire look of the property, transforming it into an architectural asset.
While the deep energy retrofit focuses on the Tremont Street midrise, the total energy savings resulting from this 500 unit renovation is 23,000 MMBTU per year. At the low rise buildings (308 units), energy savings will also be substantial. However, the super insulated shell proved infeasible there, so overall heating savings are 48%, as opposed to 71%.