Green retrofitting has been a part of housing development work in the sector for decades. Coupled with comprehensive design, green retrofitting offers infrastructure, energy and health benefits to its residents. Whether it be leveraged for single-family or multi-family homes, green housing is rather timely for the changes in our climate and a great housing preservation and community resilience strategy.
At the forefront of the discourse on green retrofitting, resilience and efficiency is passive house, an energy efficiency standard that can be applied to renovated or new construction. With a goal to lower consumption and reduce energy demand, passive house development comes with higher criteria and rewards with state Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) – determining whether or not a state level subsidy will be applied to a project. There are continued efforts across the country being done to support this practice so that it is standard. In terms of resiliency, there are considerations on how the physical built can weather the storms that are bound to happen with climate change. Additionally, green design can offer a shelter-in-place strategy.
In this Spotlight on Green Retrofitting, Resilience and Efficiency, we asked RiseBoro Community Partnership in NYC and Lake Regions Community Developments in NH about their work with passive house design and recommendations for those considering it in their work. We also feature guides and toolkits to help practitioners establish programs to support tenants, like this LISC guide on green and healthy multifamily affordable housing. Additionally, our peers at Enterprise have compiled guidance on green retrofits and designing for aging-in-place. Read our roundup in the “What We’re Reading” section for recent articles and news stories highlighting how green infrastructure is being utilized as an anti-poverty strategy, the passive house benefits on social inclusion and the impact of a reduction in gas emissions on the housing market.