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RENEW Multi-Family Building Wins Seattle Vision Award

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The St. Charles Apartments – among the first affordable multi-family buildings in Seattle to receive energy and water efficiency upgrades under ECC’s RENEW Multi-family Program – has been recognized for those water savings.

St. Charles Apartments

Nonprofit building owner Plymouth Housing Group received the 2016 Visionary Award for Water from the Seattle 2030 District, an area of downtown Seattle where 45 percent of the properties are participating in an effort to dramatically reduce the environmental impacts of building construction and operations. The Seattle 2030 District now includes more than 20 member businesses and organizations.

The Vision Awards, which honor local leaders who are transforming Seattle’s urban environment through innovative construction and design, are given in the categories of leadership, energy, water and transportation.

Exceeding Goals

The St. Charles property provides permanent housing to homeless people who have few other options. Thanks to the low-flow showerheads, low-flow kitchen aerators and toilets installed by MacDonald-Miller as part of the RENEW upgrades, the building’s water use has dropped 49 percent, from more than 70 gallons a day to 39. According to the 2030 Seattle District, “these innovations, combined with additional energy-saving measures, are resulting in a 62 percent return on investment,” well above the planned 20 percent target.

From left: Betsy Hunter, Plymouth Housing Group; Elly Bunzendahl , O'Brien & Company; Steve Gelb; Paul Lambros, Plymouth Housing Group

The 2030 District notes that RENEW included onsite assessments at the St. Charles by O’Brien and Company, as well as other support from Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy.

“The entire ECC RENEW team is tremendously gratified by this recognition of our work with Plymouth Housing Group,” said EC Seattle Director Steve Gelb. “RENEW is designed to help maintain the availability of affordable housing by reducing owners’ operating costs.

He added, “Thanks to the support of our partners, RENEW Multi-family is poised to bring energy and water savings to at least 20 buildings in 2017.”

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