Opting for a wrap of insulated metal panels and fiberglass windows, the DER project helped solve several challenges at once: adding exterior insulation and air barriers to greatly improve the thermal comfort without having to vacate residents during construction and achieving a sleek, modern look that pleased residents and neighbors alike.
Observers in Boston and the DER community cite the CSTO’s passion and fortitude in making this retrofit happen. According to Moy, this is the biggest DER effort in the U.S. “As dedicated residents, we are committed to being trailblazers with the nation’s largest deep-energy retrofit,” she says.
In May, CSTO’s Backus received the Arthur F. Howe Community Service Award, presented annually by the Ellis South End Neighborhood Association to an individual who has made “enduring contributions toward improving and preserving Boston’s unique and historic South End.” A month earlier, CSTO and WinnDevelopment were recognized by Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino at the 6th Annual Mayor’s Green Awards, which celebrates businesses, nonprofits and residences who have worked “to make Boston a greener, more sustainable and livable city.” The work also earned praise from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. It currently is tracking for LEED Platinum certification.
Other benefits of the deep-energy retrofit continue to accrue. Castle Square’s construction work created more than 200 jobs. The project was partly funded by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources High Performance Grant Program. The Washington-based U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also contributed through the Green Retrofit Program. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, has been studying Castle Square and green renovations around the country to measure the effect of energy retrofits on air quality and, in particular, asthma rates in residents.
Perhaps the most significant side-effect of the Castle Square DER project is the depth of knowledge regarding green issues and sustainable design acquired by the tenant organization’s residents, a majority of whom are Cantonese and speak English as a second language. At first, the concept of the deep-energy retrofit may have seemed like another foreign language to them, but by being active participants in a unique project, they have become a forward-thinking entity. In fact, the group has become so forward-thinking that CSTO has hired its own sustainability manager—something few luxury-priced residences have, let alone an affordable-housing property.
R-40 façade cladding: Mini- Wave and Micro-Rib panels from Kingspan, kingspan.us
R-40 white, reflective roofing: 60-mil TPO from Firestone Building Products, www.firestonebpco.com
Air and vapor barrier: Perm-A-Barrier Wall Membrane from Grace Construction Products, www.na.graceconstruction.com
Spray-applied air barrier: Perm-A-Barrier VP from Grace Construction Products
Mineral-fiber insulation: CavityRock MD from Roxul, www.roxul.com
Fiberglass casement windows and French doors: Armaclad, www.armacladwindows.com
Solar water-heating system: Zapotec Energy, www.zapotecenergy.com, and SOLID, www.solidsolar.com
Energy Star air conditioners: Friedrich, www.friedrich.com
Energy Star refrigerators: Whirlpool, www.whirlpool.com
Exhaust ventilation system retrofit: Aeroseal, www.aeroseal.com
Constant-air regulator dampers and fresh-air trickle vents: American Aldes Ventilation Corp., www.americanaldes.com
CFLs: Prisma, www.pil-usa.com; Lithonia, www.lithonia.com; Omnilite, www.omnilite.com; Progress, www.progresslighting.com; and Brownlee Lighting, www.brownlee.com
LEDs: Omnilite; Nikko, www.hktdc.com; New Star Lighting, www.newstarlighting.com; and Emco Lighting, sitelighting.com
Toilets: Toto, www.totousa.com
Flushometers: Minolusa, minolusa.com