Bronx Healthy Buildings Fund

Bronx, NY

The South Bronx, also known as “Asthma Alley”, has one of the highest asthma rates in the United States. Though the cause and development of asthma is multifactorial, environmental burdens such as air pollution have amplified asthma’s impact. The disproportionate burden of asthma in the South Bronx has been the focus of several studies. According to the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study, the rates of asthma-induced deaths are three times higher than the national average, the rate of hospitalization is about five times higher. Nearly one out every five children in Bronx neighborhoods has asthma. Bronx communities are in need of serious intervention to overcome health, environmental, and financial concerns.

BlocPower has partnered with the Montefiore Medical Center, the Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, and several other private and public partners, to establish the Bronx Healthy Buildings Fund. This coalition is raising funds to enable clean energy retrofits in multifamily buildings across the borough.

Bronx communities will benefit from these clean energy retrofits in multiple ways. First, their buildings will operate more efficiently as a result of state-of-the-art energy supporting installations. Secondly, buildings will become more cost effective; BlocPower’s retrofits will decrease utility costs and improve utility reliability. Thirdly, the retrofits will improve indoor air quality and foster conditions for healthier living through carbon reduction. Finally, BlocPower will also be creating green jobs by employing members of the community to service the energy retrofits.

Overall, the Bronx Healthy Buildings Fund is indicative of BlocPower’s core mission: increase access to and affordability of energy efficiency in communities across the country and world.

About this project

BlocPower will assess the health risks and energy efficiency of 150 high asthma rate buildings in the South Bronx. We will do that by installing our proprietary IOT sensors throughout the buildings and then using our automated thermodynamic models to compare each building’s “health” to the WELL Standard. BlocPower uses the WELL Building Standard to understand best to the energy efficiency and human health and comfort opportunities in any building. We then design retrofits that tackle issues that plague each individual building, while also maximizing cost reduction and minimizing carbon emissions.

For instance, BlocPower analyzed five K-8 educational facilities in the Bronx to identify the current health risks that children face and how BlocPower can address these problems. In four of the five facilities studied, BlocPower found dangerous levels of CO2 at least 25% of the time. In terms of exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds, BlocPower additionally found dangerous exposure levels over 40% of the time in each of the five facilities.

With these findings, BlocPower designed energy efficiency retrofits according to the needs of individual building occupants. In this case, we recommended HVAC system upgrades, filter upgrades, and control retrofits to foster better living conditions. In the Bronx Healthy Buildings Fund, a similar process will take place to ensure that maximum benefits are reaped for Bronx communities.

What we’re installing

Who is installing?

BlocPower will be hiring construction managers and local community members to install the energy retrofits. BlocPower has established relationships with experienced construction managers (like the Vorea Group) to conduct the deep retrofits.

Project timeline

  • The first phase of retrofits will take place in the Spring of 2017 (150 buildings). The second phase of retrofits will take place in the Winter of 2017/2018 (20 buildings).

    BlocPower will be installing sensors, controls, and deep retrofits that are tailored on an individual building basis

Why Invest?

The Bronx Healthy Buildings Fund will touch the lives of thousands of Bronx community members.

Because BlocPower historically has found between 15 to 30% savings on its energy efficiency projects, this $10 million fund is projected to save between $1.5 and $3 million on annual utility bills. In addition, the energy retrofits will generate the equivalent of 615 tons of CO2 savings annually (through 8,500 mmBTU savings on #4 fuel oil).

Through these financial, energy, and environmental savings, you can help BlocPower and the Bronx Healthy Buildings Fund take a major step to fight asthma, pollution, and the effects of climate change in the Bronx.

Social

Social Impact

Health

Health Impact

Environmental

Environmental Impact

Financial

Financial Impact

Comments

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