Community Ventures is committed to building at the highest level of environmental sustainability possible within the limits of affordable housing funding. Given the reality of global warming and other environmental impacts of human activity, Community Ventures believes that it is imperative to build as “green” as possible, and it has shown that sustainable design and affordable housing are not mutually exclusive concepts. The inclusion of sustainable practices not only protects the environment; it ultimately saves renters and homeowners money.
Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Materials
All recent homeownership developments are EnergyStar certified. In addition, each comes equipped with an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). The ERV is designed to bring fresh air into the house while simultaneously exhausting an equal amount of stale air. The exhausted air conditions (cools or heats) the fresh, incoming air, which lessens the strain on the heating and central air conditioning system. The houses also come equipped with dual-flush toilets and a whole-house fan, which can ventilate and cool the house during the “bridge” months in the fall and spring.
Photovoltaic Solar Arrays
Community Ventures has and will continue to meet or exceed the highest Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency energy efficiency standards for its rental housing developments. In addition, at its most recent rental development, Francisville East, Community installed a 47 kWh photovoltaic solar array on the roof. This array provides at least two thirds of the electricity necessary to light two parking lots and power the lighting and public system needs for the project’s 27-unit apartment building. It also saves the project over $8,000 per year. Community Ventures will install a second photo-voltaic solar array on Centennial Village, a 52-unit rental housing development that we expect to begin constructing in 2016. This system will be larger: sixty-nine kWh and is expected to produce approximately $12,000 in annual savings.
Community Ventures also meets or exceeds the stormwater management requirements of the Philadelphia Water Department, reducing run-off and therefore pollution in the local rivers and streams. Community Ventures Ingersoll Commons homeownership development includes a below-ground stormwater storage system, and it has also spurred the development of a new park and rain garden that will manage storm water from several surrounding streets. The park and rain garden are being developed by the Philadelphia Water Department and the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation.
Community Ventures will continue to look for new ways to build energy efficient and environmentally sustainable buildings, both to reduce costs for our buyers and renters and to improve the prospects for future generations.