Since 1974, Urban Edge has been dedicated to developing healthy and sustainable communities in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and surrounding neighborhoods. As part of our mission, we’ve recognized an obligation to understand and act upon the local and global impacts of our development efforts. Since 2001 we had been engaged in various efforts to introduce more environmentally friendly approaches to our work, ranging from a local asthma study to Egleston Crossing, a 64-unit mixed-use transit oriented project that incorporates renewable energy.
With the support of the Garfield Foundation in 2004, we launched an initiative to standardize a more environmentally sensitive approach to our development and maintenance practices. Green Housing at Urban Edge (Green HUE) is a strategic effort to design and implement green affordable housing development and operations at Urban Edge.
Green HUE helps us increase our awareness about the environmental impacts of our work and expand our capacities to address and minimize those impacts. Our initiative was designed to:
- Establish standards for new construction at Urban Edge
- Develop high visibility green standards
- Educate Urban Edge staff and residents
Click here to learn more about the activities we have undertaken to meet our goals.
- An integrated approach in an organization means that staff from all departments need to be part of the process.
- Urban Edge has strong interconnectedness of disciplines, particularly between Custodians, Property Managers, and Real Estate Development Staff
- It’s important to consider total life cycle costs for products and systems
- Never underestimate the value of reflecting on your current practices.
Why Green HUE?
As an organization committed to strengthening and developing local communities with affordable housing, we also understand the importance of caring for our environment and ensuring its safety for future generations. Depending on the choices developers make, real estate development can have either an adverse or beneficial impact when it comes to environment and human health
Development can prescribe patterns of energy consumption, land consumption, emissions, biodiversity levels, and natural resource depletion. The construction industry produces up to 40% of the material that goes into our landfills, and the construction and operation of buildings consume over 60% of the electricity and 35% of primary energy used in the U.S. each year. Energy use associated with buildings also accounts for about 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. In addition, automobiles also contribute to greenhouse emissions resulting from auto dependent sprawling development patterns.
Studies show that low-income and minority populations disproportionately suffer from respiratory disease associated with poor indoor and outdoor air quality. The number of children diagnosed with asthma has doubled in the past 15 years with rates in the Northeast among the highest in the country. A recent study indicates that one in seven adults and children have been diagnosed with asthma in New England. Studies have shown that asthma may be provoked by “triggers” in the indoor air environment. These triggers can be reduced by good construction and maintenance practices.
This initiative was made possible by a generous grant from the Garfield Foundation in 2004. We also received support from KeySpan in 2005 to support our Energy Modeling Initiative.
We strongly encourage you to share any feedback about our Green HUE web site. We are especially interested in hearing updates about new technologies and best practices. Your feedback helps ensure that our web site continues to evolve as a valuable resource. Please e-mail your feedback to email@example.com