By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Boston—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Castle Square Apartments as one of the first multifamily housing properties in the country to earn Energy Star certification for superior energy performance. Overseeing the property are WinnDevelopment and Castle Square Tenants Organization, a nonprofit owned by the residents of the apartments.
The distinction signifies that Castle Square is more energy efficient than 75 percent of similar properties nationwide. To earn Energy Star certification through EPA’s Portfolio Manager, buildings must achieve an Energy Star score of 75 or higher on a scale of 1 to 100. On average, these certified buildings use 35 percent less energy and cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers.
Located on Tremont Street in Boston’s South End neighborhood, and developed in the 1960s, Castle Square is a 540,000-square-foot mixed-use property comprised of 500 affordable apartment units and 20,000 square feet of retail space. The property consists of four mid-rise buildings and 19 townhouse buildings containing one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments.
According to the EPA, about one-third of Americans live in the country’s multifamily buildings, and they collectively spend $22 billion on energy every year. Over the past decade, energy costs for renters have risen by 20 percent. By operating more efficiently, Energy Star certified properties will remain more affordable, which is especially important to renters at properties like Castle Square, the agency says.
Along with Castle Square Apartments, 16 other multifamily buildings were among the inaugural collection to earn the distinction. That includes only three affordable housing communities, Castle Square being one of them, and two properties that have received LEED Platinum certification, Castle Square being one of those. The property won LEED Platinum in 2012 upon completion of a two-year Deep Energy Retrofit.