Groton – Two new, eight-unit, energy-efficient apartment buildings have opened at Pequot Village Housing Development, which the Groton Housing Authority hopes will serve as a model for future renovations.
The “pilot project” planned to demolish two of the development’s one-story and eight-unit buildings, which were energy inefficient and housed smaller units, to make way for two new two-story buildings. The new buildings feature roofs with solar shingles, geothermal heating and cooling and larger apartments, according to the Groton Housing Authority.
The Groton Housing Authority has two housing developments in Groton for moderate-income seniors and people with disabilities: the 104-unit Pequot Village development on Poquonnock Road and the 70-unit Grasso Gardens development located at Governors Circle on Route 117.
Nancy Codeanne, former chair of the board of directors of the Groton Housing Authority, told an open house Thursday that she hoped state-of-the-art buildings “are just the beginning of more to come.” at a time when housing has become a critical issue. The housing authority hopes in the future to be able to renovate the rest of the property, which includes studios and one-bedroom units in single-storey buildings.
Robert Frink, the new chairman of the housing board, said the overall goal of new buildings is energy efficiency and sustainability.
The executive director of the Groton Housing Authority, Rob Cappelletti, said the two older buildings, built in the late 1960s, were severely inefficient from an energy point of view and residents’ electricity bills had grown quite high in recent years. winter and summer. Utility costs in new units are included in rents, unlike other units.
“We wanted to help the residents because this is a moderate income rental housing development, so our people have a fixed income, or some people work but it’s a limited income,” Cappelletti said, adding that the Housing Authority wanted to make sure they have more money in their pocket to spend on other things in order to improve their quality of life.
The two-story structures, built in the footprint of the two single-story buildings, have allowed the housing authority to double the size of the units to around 685 square feet, according to the housing authority.
The new apartments have features like LED lighting, vinyl siding with heavy insulation behind and Energy Star appliances, according to the housing authority.
“The new apartments have been built according to passive house design principles which include a high level of insulation, an airtight building envelope where fresh air is continuously exchanged through an intake system with filters and condition, high performance windows, geothermal heating and cooling and solar shingles for electric power, ”the housing authority said in a press release.
Cappelletti said the geothermal system has wells at the rear of the development that descend about 350 to 400 feet, and that the water circulates through a heat exchanger system that brings energy into each unit so reduce energy costs. Eastern Connecticut Housing Opportunities project manager Andrew Woodstock showed how the system works on Thursday.
During a tour of the new apartments, representatives from the Groton Housing Authority highlighted features of the units, such as the New England-style exterior, open floor plans, and small balconies on the second floor. The units on the first floor are accessible to people with disabilities.
Architect Chris Widmer said “coastal contemporary” buildings have shingle-style vinyl siding and feature plenty of windows for natural light.
Property manager Jamie Lee said the new units are renting out quickly.
The subdivision is open to people aged 62 or over, or with a disability, and with a maximum income of $ 46,100 for one person or $ 52,650 for a couple, depending on the housing department. People pay either base rent or 30% of their adjusted income, whichever is greater.
Base rents for the development range from $ 500 for studios to $ 1,200 for new, larger bedrooms, she said.
Cappelletti said the project cost around $ 3.7 million. He said the housing authority borrowed private funds from Chelsea Groton Bank and received a $ 500,000 housing tax credit from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. He thanked Groton Utilities for purchasing the tax credits and contributing these funds to the project.