Cypresswood Estates, an affordable housing community for active adults aged 55 or older, has been named by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as a finalist for the Multifamily Pillars of the Industry award for its energy-efficient construction.
Located in Houston, Tex., the community achieved NAHB’s recognition as the nation’s first affordable housing for seniors that exceeds the criteria for Platinum LEED and Emerald Green certifications—the highest certification available.
Cypresswood Estates demonstrates the possibility of providing affordable, environmentally friendly housing without overburdening the budget, says the Harris County Housing Authority (HCHA). Residents can expect significantly lower utility bills thanks to energy-efficient construction and Energy Star appliances.
The community features solar panels, which can generate up to 60% of the complex’s projected energy needs, and its HVAC systems, along with insulation material such as Thermax and recycled cellulose, create the most energy-efficient units in Houston senior housing, says HCHA.
Although making Cypresswood Estates energy-efficient led to slightly elevated expenses, at 8 to 10% more per square foot, HCHA says the 88-unit construction was only marginally more expensive than a 90-unit community it built just months earlier, and considers it worth the cost.
“What we’ve learned on this build breaks new ground on issues important to America’s future,” said HCHA President and CEO Guy Rankin in a statement. “Cypresswood Estates could serve as a road map for President Obama as he begins to put more emphasis on environmental stewardship, new energy alternatives and the development of green industries.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace