Constant improvement is a common theme at Aeon, builder, owner, developer and manager of multiple mixed-income housing complexes in Minneapolis. Each time they build a new property, they incorporate learnings into the next one. Building energy efficiency and sustainability into their buildings is a long-standing policy.
“Every time we do any sort of project, it should be better,” says Alan Arthur, president and CEO. “Technology, knowledge and design continues to evolve so we take the best practices from one building and transfer them to the next project.”
So when they built The Rose at South Quarter, along with Hope Community, they built energy efficiency and sustainability measures into the property from the ground up.
Having just celebrated 30 years in business, Aeon now has 2,650 apartments in 42 buildings in the Twin Cities area.
“Aeon means ‘forever’ in Latin,” says Arthur. “We build with a long-term plan in mind: not what a building will need in 20 years, but in 150 years.”
One of Aeon’s six core values is sustainability. They began working with Xcel Energy’s Energy Design Assistance program to determine how to be more energy efficient. The program provides computerized energy modeling to identify various efficiency measures available, potential costs, payback terms and rebates.
“Bringing in the EDA program early in the process allowed us to have a much more meaningful impact,” Arthur says. “We looked at 26 different types of wall structures because everything influenced something else. It all impacts energy use. Until you dive into it, you don’t appreciate how complex it can be.”
Once finished, The Rose at South Quarter implemented the following energy efficiency and sustainability measures, among others:
• High R-value roof and wall insulation
• High efficiency lighting and motion sensors throughout
• Passive daylighting strategies
• Variable refrigerant flow heating and cooling system with heat recovery
• Garage heat recovery with CO control
• Total heat recovery for outside air system
• ENERGY STAR® appliances
This combination of measures will save The Rose at South Quarter more than $180,000 per year in energy costs and reduce their peak energy use by 36 percent.*
Arthur and his team also use the work as an educational opportunity, making sure staff and residents understand the many green aspects of the building.
“We have an ongoing resident engagement and ambassador programs where we teach and educate each other,” he explains. “We provide residents with greener cleaning materials and info about how this building is different. People move to this building specifically for the green aspect of it.”
Arthur says they take pride in knowing they live in a healthier, beautiful, affordable home that has a minimal impact on the environment.
Aeon isn’t finished building mixed-income housing in the Twin Cities. In addition to new construction, they also acquire buildings that they renovate and make more energy efficient. They plan to build another 1,000 units over the next few years, all with the learnings of The Rose and other buildings.
If you’re an Xcel Energy customer and planning a new construction or major renovation project, contact your account manager or an energy efficiency specialist at 855.839.8862 to learn how you can take advantage of our Energy Design Assistance program. Visit xcelenergy.com/BusinessNewConstruction to learn more.
*Savings estimates are based on energy modeling techniques and calculated using Xcel Energy’s 2016 Minnesota Retail Rate Estimates for CIP Studies. The average estimated peak energy reduction for Energy Design Assistance program participants is 25 percent. Results can vary depending on project. Read more EDA case studies like this one.