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Sustainability and affordability go hand in hand. Homes that are more energy efficient are more affordable to occupy over the short and long terms. SCCLT has engaged in a couple of projects to improve the energy performance of their homes.

Energy+ Projects

From 2019 to 2022 the Energy+ project conducted a pilot project to improve the energy efficiency of affordable housing in the Borough of State College. The results of that pilot project were compiled into a series of case studies about each energy efficiency focused renovation. 
The Energy+ project was born out of the State College Community Land Trust's GreenBuild project, a project to build a net- zero energy pair of homes completed in 2018. Whereas GreenBuild was a showcase to build energy efficient affordable housing, the Energy+ partners, consisting of The State College Borough Planning Office, The HOME Foundation, State College Community Land Trust, The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center and the Hamer Center for Community Design, wanted to explore ways to improve the energy efficiency of existing affordable housing. 
In 2019 the Energy+ pilot project received a grant from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) to evaluate the energy savings incurred by renovations at 15 homes. Over the past 3 years, the affordable housing programs performed energy audits on each property to inform which renovations would take place. Post-renovation blower door tests provided researchers with data to complete energy models for each site. Those energy models and records of the renovations at each home form the basis of the case study documents. 

Energy+ In the Community 

From 2019 to 2022 the Energy+ project conducted a pilot project to trial the implementation of energy efficient renovations of affordable housing in the Borough of State College. The results of that pilot project were compiled into a series of case studies about each energy efficiency focused renovation.

On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, Earth Day, the Energy+ Team conducted an exhibition of the case study posters and a presentation about the Energy+ program at a community space in downtown State College called 3 Dots Downtown. In attendance were members of the Energy+ partner organizations, homeowners, Municipal leaders from State College and surrounding Governments, as well as County Commissioners, community members and Penn State students.

The double-sided posters were hung in the windows of the event space serving to promote the event and share the project data with attendees as well as passersby on the street. A brief program was begun sharply at 6 pm with an introduction by State College Mayor Ezra Nanes. Mayor Nanes spoke to the necessity of the Energy+ program in helping to create more permanently affordable housing in the community, while also helping to meet climate goals.

Affordable Housing
+ Green Energy Technology 

GreenBuild is a unique project to build a pair of duplex homes with cost-effective green technology to enhance affordability over both the short and long-terms. Thanks to key partners and individual donors, SCCLT has completed this project! The ceremonial groundbreaking was held in June, 2017, heavy machinery moved on site in late October, 2017, a ribbon cutting and community open house was held May 18 -20, 2018, and homeowners moved in to the homes in late July, 2018.

What Makes GreenBuild Green?

Rising energy costs can present financial challenges for all homeowners. The State College Community Land Trust  and its strategic partners want to show how green technology can work in affordable housing to  reduce energy bills for  working families.

The State College Community Land Trust will build a moderately-priced, owner-occupied pair of ZERHs (Zero-Energy-Ready-Homes), utilizing advanced and long-term cost-effective green technology, for middle-income families. Our major partners are the Borough of State College and the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, Hamer Center for Community Design/Energy Efficient Housing Research Group. 

As the principal contractor, we have selected Envinity, Inc. of State College, a leading design-build firm focused on energy efficiency and sustainbility, and their partners: Henry Architecture & Design, and Macht Architecture. Envinity has been committed to energy efficiency since its establishment in 2005. 

​The GreenBuild project has been designed with resource and energy efficient technology and principals, such as:

High-performing, air-tight wall, roof and foundation construction | High efficiency heating and cooling for comfortable living ​Sustainable building materials and finishes | Passive solar and photovoltaic panel array | Water-efficient fixtures | Rain garden and rainwater catchment systems

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