Sustainable Comfort Inc. (SCI), announces the award of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes Silver Certification to the Watkins Glen School Senior Apartments in Watkins Glen, N.Y. co-developed by SEPP Inc. of Binghamton, N.Y. and Two Plus Four Construction of East Syracuse, N.Y., who was also the builder on the project. SCI acted as the green building verification consultant for the project, and the architect was BCK-IBI Group of Binghamton, N.Y.

Formerly the Watkins Glen Middle School, the 51 converted units are available to residents 55 and older with incomes up to 80 percent of the average median income. The 88,549 square foot project still has elements of the school in place, and the old gymnasium and auditorium are now a civic center for the community to hold events.

Several factors that supported the LEED for Homes Silver Certification include reuse of an existing brick building, airtight construction, efficient heating and hot water systems, convenient proximity to local services, and green construction materials. A healthy indoor environment, pollution reduction and lower utility and maintenance costs are also features of this LEED certification. This highly efficient affordable housing is expected to reduce water and energy consumption by 20 to 30 percent over typical code compliant construction, while reusing a historic component of the town.

The $12.5 MM Watkins Glen School project received a $3.8MM grant from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as part of a $95MM program for affordable housing projects. The project also received $900K as part of the 2013 Regional Council Consolidation Funding from the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council. SCI helped the project receive $128,500 in incentive funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) by pursuing the Energy $mart Homes designation.

“I want to congratulate the project team on LEED for Homes Silver certification. This is quite the accomplishment for a historic renovation and demonstrates a commitment to sustainable building and practices,” remarked Albert LaValley, President of Sustainable Comfort Inc.

Sustainable Comfort, Inc. is a Worcester, Massachusetts based green building and energy efficiency consulting firm with expertise in multifamily housing. SCI specializes in LEED for Homes, ENERGY Star Homes, Enterprise Green Communities, Passive House, HERS Rating, State Incentive Programs, and Code Compliance. The firm is also involved with the property management and development of multifamily buildings.

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