HomeAid Washington DC Completes Energy Efficiency Retrofit Project for Community Connections

State-of-the-Art HVAC Equipment Installed in Apartment Building Replacing Antiquated System
For Immediate Release – 
HomeAid Washington DC (HomeAid DC), a nonprofit charitable construction program affiliated with the Home Builders Care Foundation and the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA), completed a noteworthy energy efficiency retrofit project this week at a six-unit apartment building owned and operated by Community Connections, the largest not-for-profit mental health agency serving men, women and children in the Nation’s Capital. The project is part of a national Environmental Sustainability Program (ESP) launched by HomeAid DC’s national affiliate, HomeAid America, and initially funded by a generous grant from the Walmart Foundation.
This ESP project is made possible through a grant received by HomeAid America from the Walmart Foundation. Other national ESP funders include Owens Corning and the Masco Foundation.
The purpose of the ESP grant is to enable HomeAid chapters, like HomeAidDC, across the country to retrofit existing facilities serving homeless and at-risk people with energy efficient upgrades, allowing the service providers operating those facilities to increase their service delivery capacity to their clients by reducing their operating costs for energy.  Organizations like Community Connections will benefit with lower monthly expenses for energy, resulting in increased comfort and efficiencies in their facilities and an overall reduction in their environmental impact.

HomeAid DC received key technical support for the project from Newport Partners LLC, an energy efficiency expert and a member of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA), to complete the green, energy saving HVAC system replacement in the building, located in Northeast DC. Mitsubishi Electric Heating and Cooling contributed all new ultra-high efficiency equipment to the project. The donated Mitsubishi products, Energy Star CEE Tier 2 certified, are some of the most technologically advanced heat pump systems in the world and are able to deliver up to 26 SEER, well above the current industry-standard requirement of 13 SEER. Frosty’s Heating and Cooling installed the system.
Prior to renovation, each 1BR unit, approximately 600 sq. ft. in size, had its own antiquated HVAC forced-air gas-fired furnace located in a mechanical closet in the small kitchen. During the energy audit conducted by Newport, it was determined that a few of the systems may have been nearly 50 years old and original to the 2-story brick apartment building which was constructed in 1956. These old units have been removed and were replaced with Mitsubishi’s slim, quiet, high-performance wall-mounted ductless heating/cooling systems with Hyper-Heating INVERTER (H2i™) technology.  The now-empty mechanical closets can be used for other purposes.
The total construction value of the project is approximately $60,000 with Mitsubishi’s equipment donation alone valued at over $20,000. Walmart provided $30,000 in funding. Additionally, new Energy Star refrigerators and ranges were provided by GE Appliances and Lighting.
The overall goal of this retrofit project is to reduce the building’s energy use by at least 40 percent, allowing Community Connections to focus more of their resources on direct client care. To monitor the new system’s performance and the future energy use of the building, an inconspicuous data acquisition system was installed near each fuse box. Newport Partners is managing this portion of the project.
“This is our second ESP Project in DC.  Our HomeAid DC Chapter is excited and honored to be selected once again for ESP funding and we are thankful to Walmart for the opportunity to assist Community Connections through this green initiative,”notes Liza Bowles, Principal of Newport Partners and Board Chair-Elect of the Home Builders Care Foundation. “In today’s economy, it’s important that organizations like Community Connections save as much as possible on operating costs, like utility bills, so that they can concentrate their resources on serving their clients.”
HomeAid DC’s first ESP Project was completed in 2011 at a Southeast DC
townhome for
Sasha Bruce Youthwork. After one year of monitoring its energy use, Sasha Bruce’s REACH Home has met its 40% energy savings goals. With greatly reduced energy bills, Sasha Bruce can now focus more of their resources on direct client care such as shelter, counseling, educational remediation, life skills development, substance abuse counseling and other positive youth development activities.

About HomeAid Washington DC:

HomeAid DC is a program of the Home Builders Care Foundation (HBCF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable construction program affiliated with the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association. Founded in 1984, HBCF’s mission is to complete shelter-related construction projects by utilizing the building industry’s specialized skills and collaborating with existing community service and care providers serving the homeless and other at-risk families and individuals. HomeAid DC is also a local chapter of HomeAid America. 
About HomeAid America:

HomeAid is a leading national non-profit provider of housing for homeless families and individuals.  The HomeAid mission is to build and maintain dignified housing where homeless families and individuals can rebuild their lives. Through the generosity of builders, their trades and their suppliers, HomeAid has completed more than 275 housing projects nationwide with an additional 40 projects in development.  HomeAid’s facilities provide more than 5,000 beds per night nationwide.
About Community Connections (CC):

Community Connections core purpose is to improve the lives of women, men and children in the District of Columbia by providing comprehensive mental health services.  Since its founding in 1984, CC has been committed to innovative and compassionate mental health, addictions and residential services for the District of Columbia’s most vulnerable citizens. Nearly 250 consumers at CC receive apartment supports through their supported independent living program.  CC has provided affordable housing options for consumers in both the District of Columbia and in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1986.
About Newport Partners:

Newport Partners provides a full range of professional consulting, analytical, and technical services to the building industry and beyond. Newport works with its nationwide client base to maximize new and existing building’s energy-use while minimizing the costs. Their services include energy modeling and indoor environmental analysis.

Toy Drive Aids A Wider Circle

Our 2012 Presidents Luncheon Toy Drive will benefit low income families and individuals being served by A Wider Circle whose mission is simple – to help children and adults lift themselves out of poverty. 
A Wider Circle also serves as the coordinating agency for the Holiday Giving Project of Montgomery County.  Here is the wish list for the Hope For The Holidays program. For more info or to donate toys directly, visit http://awidercircle.org/holidays.html
Doll babies
Trucks, cars
Drawing Items
Activity Books
Leap Frog or other handheld learning games
Cartoon Character Toys
Action Figure Toys
Sheet sets – twin, full, queen
Fleece blankets and comforters
Gift cards – Target, Safeway, Giant, CVS and Best Buy
Accessories – jewelry, hair, lotions, perfume
Hats, scarves and gloves
Balls- basketball, football and soccer
Pots and Pans
Silverware Sets
Comforter Sets
Sheet Sets – all sizes
Gift Cards – Target, Safeway, Giant, CVS
Laundry Detergent
Hats, scarves, gloves

Project for ABH Boys Cottage Partially Complete

HBCF Director Ted Smart, MDC Services LLC; Steve Gorozdo with ABH; and Stefan Kalivas,

SCK Contractors LLC check out the new gazebo built at the Boys Cottage.

Look at our progress!  These 3 photos were taken this morning at the ABH Boys Cottage – a Montgomery County MD based therapeutic home for teenage boys with a history of mental health issues and family life struggles. Lumber donated by Builders First Source! Partial funding of project from the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund.

The new kitchen at the Boys Cottage. What did it look like before? See our Nov. 19 blog post below.

The new, expanded deck – with access to backyard.