We’re excited to announce that in May, HDC’s Exemplary Buildings Program was awarded a grant of $70,000 from the Climate Wise Building Program of Edwards Mother Earth Foundation.
Edwards Mother Earth Foundation are generous and greatly valued partners of our Exemplary Buildings Program. Previous funding from their Climate Wise Building Program was instrumental in our 2019 launch and played a key role in our early outcomes. This new award equips us to sustain that momentum, build on those successes, and grow the Exemplary Buildings Program in critical ways.
As changes to building code and a potential ban on natural gas in buildings become real in Seattle, the adoption of new practices accelerates our program’s direction and legitimacy. Our past year’s work has established that the affordable housing sector’s progress is impeded by two dominant obstacles: 1) switching from natural gas domestic hot water systems to new CO2 heat pump systems, and 2) the use of balanced ventilation.
Solving these challenges depends upon the full integration of architects, engineers, affordable housing developers, and contractors. Over our program’s first year, two things became clear: we must expand and skill up the contractor workforce, and we must provide both contractors and building owner-operators with essential technical assistance rooted firmly in robust best practices. These are essential to the development and use of testing & reporting protocols that ensure expected ultra-efficient system performance.
The latest funding from Edwards Mother Earth Foundation will support development of an “Exemplary Buildings Best Practices Platform.” The system will include training and certification programs supporting both designers and installers of emerging technologies and will leverage the existing training infrastructure of Exemplary Buildings partner Emerald Cities Seattle.
The Exemplary Buildings Best Practices Platform will focus on:
- Expansion of the pool of highly skilled contractors from Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses.
- Documentation, dissemination, and application of proven best practices (in balanced ventilation with heat recovery; heat pump domestic hot water systems; building shell; water conservation monitoring; advanced lighting controls; and solar systems).
- Creation of an “Exemplary Buildings Design & Development Boot Camp.”
We’re deeply grateful to our friends at Edwards Mother Earth Foundation, champions of transformative solutions for the urgent, interrelated crises of equity, housing affordability, and climate change.