Downstreet has established a “Green Team” to formalize the organization’s efforts to improve and expand environmentally responsible practices in all lines of business. This is part of Downstreet’s participation in NeighborWorks’ Green Organization Program, which lays out specific green criteria for participating organizations and awards successful participants with an official green designation. Read more about this exciting new development here.
Downstreet takes every opportunity to lessen its energy use and environmental impact in all lines of business for a cleaner and more sustainable future.
Over the past few years, Downstreet has expanded energy efficiency features throughout our property portfolio, including the installation of solar domestic hot water systems at two-thirds of the properties. Other initiatives have included:
- 5 Star and Energy Star ratings at North Branch Apartments in Montpelier and Laurel St. Apartments in Barre.
- A LEED for HOMES Gold certification for Laurel St. Apartments in Barre
In addition to improved energy efficiency features, Facilities now uses WegoWise, an online utility tracking tool which enables us to analyze energy use at all of the properties in our portfolio (Wego’ stands for water, electric, gas, oil). WegoWise produces charts and graphs that show how we compare with other similar buildings nationwide, and trends over time in our energy consumption allowing us to make guided decisions on how to enhance energy performance.
- Residential buildings are going smoke-free
HOC’s education and counseling program includes useful information for homeowners on energy efficiency, water conservation, and healthy indoor environments. The HOC staff members are trained on green topics and help clients maximize energy savings.
Downstreet’s Green Mountain Loan Fund can be used for weatherization and other energy efficiency improvements for those who qualify.
Real Estate Development
All of Downstreet’s real estate development work is done with energy efficiency in mind, from the insulation to appliances and lighting. For example:
In 2013, Real Estate Development opened Phoenix House. Previously a six unit multifamily, the historic farmhouse was renovated into a 20 bed transitional housing facility. Energy efficiency improvements included R- 18 basement, R- 35 walls, R- 60 attic and blower door CFM-50:1465. Additional improvements included a sprinkler system, high efficiency boiler and ADA accessible first floor including bedroom and bathroom.
Around the Office
- We purchase 100% post-consumer paper
- Participate in the K-Cup Grounds to Grow On program.
- Compost food scraps
To learn more about the Green Team and Downstreet’s work toward the NeighborWorks Green Orgranization designation, check out our Prezi.
Downstreet is a Chartered Member of NeighborWorks America. The NeighborWorks Green Organization designation is a recognition of our comprehensive commitment to sustainable operations. NeighborWorks America awards the designation to organizations that have met a set of green achievement criteria that covers an organization’s overall management and office operations as well as the programs of the organization that are covered by the NeighborWorks Green Organization Guidelines. Downstreet has met the green achievement criteria in the following areas: homeownership education and counseling, lending, new construction, multifamily rehabilitation, single-family rehabilitation, asset and property management, owner and resident awareness, and community building and organizing. For more information on the NeighborWorks Green Organization Program, see www.nw.org/green