Harborlight Community Partners is committed to operating efficient and environmentally friendly affordable housing. Listed below are just some of our efforts:
Turtle Creek Apartments:
HCP included many green initiatives at Turtle Creek during a major 2013 renovation project:
High Efficiency Heating/Cooling Equipment: For hot-water, we converted from oil to natural gas fuel. Two new energy-efficient boilers (Viesmann) were installed. Also a cogeneration system ( Cogen ) was installed. The Cogen not only supplies hot water for domestic use all-year-round but also for heating during the winter months and the hot water flow generates electricity. In this way the boilers are not working as much thus prolonging their useful life by years and any extra electricity the cogen generates that is not used by Turtle Creek is simply put back unto the electric grid and sold back to the utility company (Ngrid.)
Four new roof top units (RTUs) were installed in order to heat and cool all hallways and common areas year round. This has enhanced the comfort level and it also provides adequate fresh air make up changes in the system.
Water Use Reduction: Low flow toilets (less than 1.6 gpf gallons per flush) were installed in all 110 units and in all common area bathrooms. Kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks and showerheads were all replaced with low water-usage devices. All these plumbing fixtures meet the requirements of the 1992 EPA Act for water usage.
All exterior walls were insulated from the outside with 2-inch rigid insulation throughout the whole periphery of the structure — from the foundation to the roofline. A vapor-barrier was added over the rigid insulation as a component of the tightening of the building envelope. Cement board siding or Fiber cement siding is a building material that was used to cover the FULL exterior walls of Turtle Creek in its latest energy-upgrade work completed in 2014. Fiber cement is a composite material made of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. It’s durable, easy to install and replace and enhances the curb appeal of the structures. All windows were replaced (both in units and throughout all common areas.)
Also used was Low or No-VOC paints. (VOC = Volatile Organic Compounds.) In this way the project is able to maintain a high level of indoor air quality. All sealants, adhesives and glues were also low or no-VOC.
All appliances (refrigerators, stoves, etc.) are Energy-Star rated and all common area light fixtures were upgraded to very energy-efficient fixtures. These new fixtures are programmable so that they use the low-energy consumption mode when no activity is sensed after half an hour or so.
During construction, Turtle Creek also had more than half of its non-hazardous construction waste and debris recycled offsite (such as aluminum windows and doors, removed siding and associated wood products, nails, screws and other fastening metals.)
Recycling designated spaces and containers have been provided for ongoing recycling of cardboard, paper, glass, aluminum and plastic.
Whipple Riverview Place:
Bordering the Ipswich River this 10 unit low income elder project boasts a green roof a 3000 square foot space thriving with vegetation. Home to at least ten species of flowering plants, the lush roof-top area links man-made and natural environments by providing natural onsite management of storm water runoff. The soil and plants absorb rainwater, and the plant roots remove and filter pollutants. The green roof at Whipple Riverview Place is especially vital as it helps protect the adjacent Ipswich River from pollution and erosion. For more information on this exciting project please select the links below.
We are experimenting with a cement board fiber and a durable PVC material at some of our properties. Cement board is a green material that is recycled, does not rot, and does not get damaged like wood.
We are pursuing an application with the Department of Housing and Community Development to allow a combined heat and power system at Turtle Creek and Turtle Woods. If allowed this system would utlize natural gas for heat while creating electricity to be used on site in the same process. For more inforamtion on the “cogeneration” system please see http://www.aegisenergyservices.com/
Timers are now installed in appropriate common areas to turn off the power when not needed. Bulbs are being switched to compact fluorescents to reduce consumption. Light sensors are used to ensure that switches are not left on. Appliances are being upgraded to energy star systems
We are recycling between 10-12 tons of paper a year now via two paper dumpsters at Turtle Creek and Turtle Woods (399 Essex St. Beverly MA 01915). Additionally for each ton of paper we receive a small sum back from the recycling company for our efforts which can be reinvested in other activities. Please feel free to come up and drop your paper off too to help increase the return! We are now recycling all the cardboard leaving our larger facilities Turtle Creek, Turtle Woods, and Harborlight House. The cardboard generated from these 211 units of housing is now being diverted from the land fill. We encourage tenants and provide containers to recycle glass, plastic, and metals. A dramatic reduction in trash going in the dumpster has been the result.