Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Major Energy Project, Cleveland, OH

Oct. 1, 2007
Project Innovations 2007

This modernization project, comprising approximately 7,000 units (764 buildings impacting approximately 7.1 million square feet of space), is a comprehensive program to make all Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) housing as energy efficient and cost effective as possible, regardless of age. Central to the plan was reducing energy and water usage through energy-efficient capital improvements financed by the savings generated by avoided energy costs over a 12-year period.

Special Design/Operations Features
The redesign of heating equipment at Olde Cedar II has resulted in an $180,000 reduction in capital expenses, which will fund the purchase of two PVI domestic hot-water systems to replace failing heating systems. Resident training sessions and hiring halls were implemented to help educate occupants, as well as provide them with on-the-job skills and employment opportunities.

Consideration was given to the seasonal energy tradeoffs of cool roofs, with summer savings determined to provide the most significant opportunities. Besides saving energy and money, and reducing the heat-island effect, cool roofing can also increase roof system lifespan. Of particular interest: One of several green roofs being implemented in this project has been earmarked for a resident patio/sitting area.

Physical improvements also included new windows, ENERGY STAR®-rated furnaces and hot-water tanks, lighting, boilers, building-automation systems, security systems, card-entry systems, and fire-/life-safety systems.

In addition to improving CMHA residents' quality of life due to more energy-efficient and comfortable homes (and a reduction in utility bills due to decreased consumption levels), another highlight was resident participation in all aspects of the energy project.

Design/Construction Challenges
CMHA conversion to project-based management (where the entire accounting system was restructured as the project was beginning) was resolved through the establishment of a team that worked with internal operations. Additionally, it was imperative to align and follow U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) protocol for the construction and implementation of this project to ensure the agency's continued support.

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