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Friday, May 8, 2009

Innovative energy efficient apartment building opens for low-income Milwaukee residents

From a news release issued by Focus on Energy:

MILWAUKEE (May 5, 2009) — On April 4, 2009, Prairie Apartments, an innovative eco-friendly new construction building, opened its doors to low-income Milwaukee residents experiencing obstacles such as homelessness and mental illness. With the help of Focus on Energy, developers Heartland Housing of Chicago and Guest House of Milwaukee were able to integrate energy efficiency measures into the 24-unit complex.

“Not only does the apartment provide high-quality affordable housing for Milwaukee residents in need, it incorporates important energy efficient features,” said Carter Dedolph, Focus on Energy Program Manager. “Prairie Apartments is a shining example of our goal to help buildings throughout the state reduce their energy use, operating costs and environmental impact.”

Energy Efficient Features

To save energy and money, Focus on Energy worked with the developers to make extensive use of ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescent fixtures and lighting occupancy sensors in most of the common areas. In addition, ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, programmable thermostats and windows were also used throughout.

Moreover, the building’s well-sealed envelope reduces air leakage, and works hand in hand with high efficiency cooling and heating equipment. In fact, the facility’s standards of design are so high it was built to achieve the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes certification. Overall, the improvements should save the building more than 4,000 therms of natural gas and about 72,500 kilowatt hours of electricity annually; not to mention $13,000 a year on energy costs.

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