News Story

First affordable ZNE development in Upstate NY Honored with LEED Award

The NEF-syndicated Energy Square development has been announced as a recipient of a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Homes Award in the Outstanding Affordable Project category. Awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED Home Awards, according to USGBC, “celebrate green residential projects, developers and builders using LEED to improve quality of life for residents, reduce a building’s impact on the environment and create healthier and more resilient communities.”

Developed by RUPCO, Energy Square is a single five-story mixed-use development providing 57 apartments in Kingston, New York. It transformed a shuttered former bowling alley in a disinvested area into safe sustainable affordable housing in a new zero-net energy (ZNE) structure, the first affordable ZNE development in upstate New York. Residents’ electricity needs are met through a 300 KW solar array with a projected annual production of 352,000 kWh, and the building’s cooling needs are met through a geothermal system. E2 is EPA ENERGY-STAR Homes certified; EPA Indoor airPLUS certified; DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes certified; and received the LEED Homes v4 Platinum Certification.

Energy Square’s innovative approach, combining affordability and sustainability, has won it recognition beyond the LEED Homes Awards. It was also named 2020 Project of the Year by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, and developer RUPCO was a recipient of the 2021 U.S. Green Building Council Leadership Award for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Region, in large part for its work on Energy Square.

Vice president of NEF’s East team, Emily Chen comments, “NEF and Rural LISC have had a long and productive relationship with RUPCO, having previously syndicated successful developments like The Lace Factory Apartments, and for good reason. We appreciate RUPCO’s willingness to dig in and work with communities to find out what their people truly need. This collaborative process results in developments like Energy Square, which has tremendous community buy in, both from residents and the political infrastructure. Their community and environment first design matches our vision for the future of our industry, and we hope to continue to work with them to create innovative solutions to preserve and expand affordable housing.”