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City homes in on opportunity to rehab multi-family buildings.

1347 Bristow Street in the Bronx is part of a portfolio of 276 buildings city-wide being rehabilitated through the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)'s Tenant Interim Lease Program (TIL).

It is also helping to set a new standard for environmental sustainability as the first City-sponsored rehabilitation of a multi-family building to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. The rehabilitation work will obtain silver-level LEED status. HPD's TIL program rehabilitates neglected buildings and creates opportunities for affordable home ownership, a key part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's ten year New Housing Marketplace Plan to create and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing.

The TIL program provides guidance to organized tenant associations in City-owned buildings of three or more apartments to develop economically self-sufficient, low-income, tenant-owned cooperatives. After renovations are completed, the buildings are sold to cooperative corporations established by the tenants, and the individual tenants purchase shares for their apartments for $250.

HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan said, "HPD is working to ensure that sustainability and green design are not just a part of newly constructed affordable housing, but are also fully integrated in our preservation and rehabilitation work. Sustainable design is not only good for the planet, but it saves money for the building's residents, further reinforcing affordability."

1347 Bristow street is a 25-unit building with ground floor commercial space. The $3.7 million rehabilitation project will be completed next month after 18 months of work. With the consultation of the Community Environmental Center (CEC), a non-profit energy efficiency contractor in the HPD's High Performance Housing Initiative (HPHI), the rehabilitation of 1347 Bristow Street takes full advantage of available high-performance technology, which includes the installation of energy efficient systems and other green and sustainable features that will help the environment and save money over the long-term.

When applied in multifamily dwellings green and sustainable features help reduce the owners' overall annual operating expenses and individual tenants' annual utility bills.

CEC director of Greenbuilding Technical Services Alexander MacFarlane said, "Our objective for 1347 Bristow Street is to demonstrate the LEED Silver standard of sustainable design in an affordable gut rehab project. We worked with HPD and NYSERDA to develop a strategy that provides a high level of energy and environmental performance at a minor incremental investment. The selected materials and systems are durable, simple to operate and maintain while being resource efficient and healthier for tenants.

"We look forward to monitoring building operation to determine if projected operational performance is realized. The day when every New Yorker enjoys the benefits of sustainable living is closer."

1347 Bristow Street's 21,350 s/f have been completely renovated to include energy-efficiency measures that are expected to reduce energy and water consumption by 30%, resulting in significant savings in operations for the City and in utility bills for residents. Rehabilitation work started in January 2006 and is expected to be completed by June 2007.

During the renovations, tenants of 1347 Bristow Street have been relocated to other buildings in HPD programs and will return to their original units once the work has concluded.

Among the sustainable measures incorporated into the final design of 1347 Bristow Street are a condensing gas-fired boiler with flat panel hydronic radiators equipped with thermostats; fiberglass-framed windows with low thermal transmittance values; and energy-efficient appliances and lighting. The insulation system is made of blown-in rockwool, a recycled product that is both fire- and insect-resistant.

In addition, a green roof has been installed over half of the structure.

LEED criteria, such as procuring green products locally has also been applied.
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Title Annotation:Special Report: Sustainable Design & Construction
Comment:City homes in on opportunity to rehab multi-family buildings.(Special Report: Sustainable Design & Construction)
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 9, 2007
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