860 On the Wye Goes ZNE!

A new all-electric affordable housing project for veterans is set to open in San Luis Obispo next month.  The innovative Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo project will host residents in a 21-unit, two-story multi-family building with a common space, recreational facilities, a community garden, and onsite resident services from the U.S. Veterans’ Administration.

Early in the process, In Balance was contacted to consult on energy efficiency, inclusion of photo-voltaic panels (PV) in the design, and the possibility of making it a zero-net energy (ZNE) project.  There was no existing gas line to the property, an opportunity the owner seized upon to use savings from not extending services toward funding an all-electric development.

Jennifer Rennick, lead energy consultant on the project recalls, “A major challenge with all-electric multi-family housing is choosing a hot water system.  For 860 on the Wye, the team was able to identify a high-efficiency tank-style air source heat pump heater that could provide the volume needed without excessive energy loads.”  Additional efficiencies were gained through improved envelope construction, blown-in insulation, and integrating air-source heat pumps into the design to provide heating for the building. All available roof area now houses PV panels to achieve the ZNE goal.

In Balance also helped facilitate applications for incentives through the Multi-Family Solar Housing (MASH) and California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC) programs, which helped the project meet basic cost requirements.

Congratulations to the whole team who made 860 On The Wye a success!