Saturday, October 23, 2010

Monroe Towers Apartments Take Big Green Step Into Record Books


Yesterday, on a scorching hot rooftop in Columbia Heights, a group of environmental engineers and entrepreneurs unveiled the completed construction and installation of the second largest solar thermal project in the District, consisting of 32 giant solar panels, and storing over 1,600 gallons of hot water. Sound like the type of trendy green construction reserved for some pricey, experimental zero carbon house that you only see on HGTV? It's not. This unique project sits atop 3501 13th Street NW, a 45 unit apartment
building. The solar panel system will drastically reduce the carbon footprint and energy bill of this multi-family property owned by Crosstown Properties, LLC.

This is the sixth project by Skyline Innovations, a small but creative, new enterprise of young energy professionals taking on all the start up, installation, and maintenance costs of solar panel construction, so to encourage green investment. Clients, in this case Crosstown Properties, simply agree to purchase the generated energy from Skyline at a guaranteed discount rate. In eliminating nearly 70 percent of their natural gas consumption, 3501 13th Street residents are taking a commendable step in reducing their carbon emissions and impact on the environment.

Greenavise, an environmental sustainability consulting group based in Silver Spring, helped make this project come to life by introducing the needs of Crosstown Properties and this building to the innovative services of Skyline. Greenavise looks to work with real property owners and operators to discern and prioritize the green solutions most feasible, efficient, and appropriate for individual properties and businesses.

It all came together yesterday, on July 21st - an excellent day if you're a sun-soaking solar panel, if not for a journalist. Scott Friedman, CEO of Greenavise, gathered at 3501 alongside Skyline CEO Zach Axelrod and several team members to unveil their newest and most impressive project to the press, city officials, and several local residents. As many of the involved parties are citizens of Ward One, they stressed their pride in bringing an important project like this into their own neighborhood. Zach Axelrod and Aaron Block, Skyline's head of market development, both insisted that six projects in a year was not keeping them busy enough, and declared their business anxious to expand. With what seems to be a unique and winning business model and pricing formula, Skyline may indeed convince many new companies that going green is not just ethical, but good economical sense.

Ward One Councilman Jim Graham (pictured) was in attendance along with Ward Three Councilwoman Mary Cheh. Each briefly took the microphone to express their gratitude and support for this kind of environment-focused business venture, and pledged to continue their work at making sure D.C. maintains its course towards becoming one of the greenest cities in the country. Later in the evening, Skyline Innovations celebrated their one year birthday party.

Washington real estate development news

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Though it is laudable that Crosstown has allowed Greenavise and SkyLine to potentially lower their energy costs with renewable energy, 3501 13th St NW is a long way from being a Green building. As a resident of the building, I can attest that Crosstown’s reluctance make capital investment in being green extends to even those required by DC law. Currently the building has no facilities or systems for residents to separate and recycle their waste stream. So before we give Greenavise and Crosstown a big pat on the back for going Green we should take holistic look at the property.

 

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