Company will leverage solar energy and green building initiatives to reduce energy consumption 20% across its housing portfolio
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – January 17, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC, a leading provider of property management, development and related real estate services for the multifamily, military, and student housing markets, today announced its participation in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge, an initiative asking U.S. companies, universities and state and local governments to step up and commit to significant reductions in both energy consumption and waste across their portfolio of properties. Balfour Beatty Communities has committed to reducing energy consumption across its portfolio of military, student and multifamily housing—44,000 homes across 26 states—by 20% over a period of 7 years.
Balfour Beatty Communities joins the Challenge as part of the DOE and Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) expansion of the program to include the multifamily housing sector. This expansion is widely viewed as an important step toward achieving the goals laid out in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. With more than 50 million square feet in its housing portfolio, Balfour Beatty Communities’ becomes the largest multifamily partner in the Better Buildings Challenge.
“By committing to the energy efficiency goals of the Better Buildings Challenge, Balfour Beatty Communities has taken a significant step towards reducing long term energy costs, supporting innovative technologies, and creating good jobs,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Working together, we will increase housing affordability for owners and residents and foster healthier communities and neighborhoods.”
As a Better Buildings Challenge participant, Balfour Beatty Communities will showcase innovative strategies to boost energy efficiency, including lighting improvements, heating and cooling system upgrades, installing rooftop solar systems and supporting creative financing for energy retrofits and green construction. The company will also share best practices and lessons learned with other Challenge participants—serving as a model for the broader U.S. multifamily housing industry.
Chris Williams, president of Balfour Beatty Communities, said, “This commitment aligns with our practice of raising the bar within the housing sector through innovative, efficient construction and renewable energy deployment. We are excited to work with the DOE and our fellow Challenge partners on a national level to bring transformative change to the multifamily sector in the U.S.”
Balfour Beatty Communities has developed and manages 550 homes within a Balfour Beatty Sustainable Urban Neighborhood? portfolio that will achieve a National Green Building Standard (NGBS) of Emerald, utilize renewable energy, and provide educational programs on sustainable living for residents. To put that in perspective, the NGBS emerald standard requires a minimum of 60% above the International Energy Conservation Code (2006), while LEED-H Platinum only requires 10% above an American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers standard.
The company also is managing the development of solar on rooftops at its Fort Bliss, Texas military housing community, a system that could reach up to 13.2MW by 2016. Balfour Beatty Communities also is evaluating the implementation of solar panel roof installation at other communities within its military housing portfolio in Colorado, and across the northeastern and southeastern regions of the United States. Concepts for energy efficiency and renewable benefits are being incorporated into the company’s recent expansion into property management and development services for the affordable housing sector, understanding every dollar saved means more money going back to the local economy.
Balfour Beatty Communities has been named “Home Innovation Research Lab’s Green Certification Partner of Excellence” for 2012-2013 for its commitment to reducing energy consumption and creating local job opportunities. According to Tabitha Crawford, SVP for Sustainability & Innovation, and also a Certified Energy Manager® and Certified Demand Side Manager™, efforts make a difference, “Consider the impact companies like Balfour Beatty can make when committing an entire portfolio to reducing energy. It’s like replacing a coal fired power plant while creating jobs in the new, clean energy economy, and meeting the demands of next generation residents. It’s pretty exciting to be part of a team that is committed to sustainable practices on a global scale.” Crawford is rolling out #NextGenLiving on social media this year to invite students, residents and clients to join the discussion about communities of the future.
About Balfour Beatty Communities
Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC is a diversified real estate services company delivering development, design, financing, construction, renovation, property and facilities management services in the multifamily, student and military housing sectors. A leader in the industry, Balfour Beatty Communities has more than 44,500 residential units and $5.5 billion in real estate assets under management and has developed or renovated more than 27,000 units with a total value of close to $4 billion. Headquartered outside Philadelphia, PA, Balfour Beatty Communities has more than 1,200 employees and is a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty Investments, Inc.
Balfour Beatty Investments is part of Balfour Beatty plc, a global leader in professional services, construction services, support services, and infrastructure investment, with more than $17 billion in annual revenues.