Bronx housing project makes green affordable

A major affordable housing development in the Bronx, New York is to demonstrate that green building is good for the bank balance as well as the environment.

The Intervale Green development is built on a brownfield site in the borough and is made up of 128 flats, making it the biggest affordable housing scheme in the US to meet the country's Energy Star energy efficiency standard.

As well as having a raft of passive energy-saving measures such as super-insulation and green roofs, the buildings use high efficiency boilers, water saving taps and showers, energy-saving lighting and occupancy sensors in shared areas such as hallways and office space.

The flats also come fitted with low-energy white goods such as fridges and washing machines.

The net result is an estimated 30% reduction in utility bills.

Intervale Green aims to be a flagship project to show that affordable housing need not be drab and low-spec.

As well as being a good example of green building, the project also addresses social needs.

Almost 50 of the flats will house young adults who have previously lived in foster care but are now old enough to have their own homes, while the rest will go to low-income or homeless families.

The development has been built by not-for-profit company Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCo).

Sam Bond



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