Bringing Multifamily Expertise to Weatherization Programs
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This article originally appeared in the July/August 2011
issue of Home Energy Magazine.
July 01, 2011
According to the U.S. Census, there are nearly 23 million residential-use buildings across the United States that contain five or more housing units. These represent more than one-sixth of U.S. homes. Weatherizing these multifamily buildings creates great social and economic benefits. Tenants, owners, and society at large all gain from reduced energy costs, decreased homelessness, lowered greenhouse gas emissions and particulate pollution, improved comfort and health for residents, and better educational outcomes for residents when their homes are weatherized. Still, realizing these benefits has been difficult in many areas of the country. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has typically focused on serving residents of one-to-four-family homes. Few of the nation’s weatherization agencies have the technical know-how to train workers in the complex skills necessary to audit and weatherize multifamily properties (see “Building a Multifamily Home Performance Program—Tales from California,” HE May/June ’11, p. 50).
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