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Retrofitting existing buildings to make them more energy efficient provides both sustainability benefits and an opportunity for affordable housing.

July 5, 2024

By Ivy Scott Globe Staff, July 5, 2024,

"...Whether converting a historic building into affordable housing units that don’t rely on fossil fuels, or transforming existing affordable housing to be more energy efficient, green renovations have created an opportunity for designers and developers of multifamily homes to get creative, spurring them to work with what they’ve got, rather than starting from scratch. And many of the recent sustainability innovations for multifamily buildings can also be applied to single-family homes, too.

“Most people ... think that to renovate to be an energy-efficient home, it’s gotta cost more money than if they were to start from scratch. The reality is that’s not true,” said Timothy McDonald, architect and co-partner of Philadelphia-based Onion Flats Architecture. “We’re finding new construction projects can be as much as twice the cost of renovating a building.”

McDonald, whose team recently kicked off a sustainable retrofit of an existing affordable housing development in Salem owned by nonprofit developer Preservation of Affordable Housing, stressed that “the most sustainable building you can have is one that’s already there.”...

see full article Green retrofits help Massachusetts tackle both climate, housing crises (