Through funding from the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Solar for All program, New Ecology, Inc. (NEI) joined Enterprise Community Partners, the National Housing Trust and Clean Energy Group to develop a vulnerability and resilience opportunity assessment tool for affordable housing owners to promote sustainability and resilience in their properties. The project advances the goals of Climate Ready DC, a project led by Kleinfelder, and DC’s plan to prepare for the impacts of climate change including heatwaves, flooding, and severe storms.
Resilience, Energy and Water Opportunity, and Solar+Storage Assessment Tool
NEI adapted our resilience assessment tool and protocol to identify site-specific nuances and enable auditor staff on the ground for to collect data and complete pilot resilience assessments under this project.
The tool is comprised of three main components: a resilience assessment, an energy and water savings opportunity assessment, and a solar+storage assessment. NEI recognized that energy and water savings as well as renewable energy and battery storage opportunities go hand-in-hand with resilience, and incorporated those key factors into the tool.
Pilot Resilience Assessments
Each of the twenty sites for which NEI conducted a resilience assessment received an onboarding call and questionnaire, desktop analyses of hazards and risks present at the site, a site assessment with auditor staff and property management present, an assessment report documenting recommended resilience, utility, and renewable energy strategies, order of magnitude costs, and potential funding sources, and the opportunity of a follow-up counseling session to review the report.
Resilience Assessment Tool Manual and Training
Following the creation of the tool and the pilot site assessments, NEI, Enterprise, and NHT commenced work on a user manual for the tool, to be presented during trainings to housing owners and professionals in order to grow the technical capacity for resilience planning in the affordable multifamily space.
Strategic Planning for Resilience Assessments
The final component of this project is a strategic map to illuminate the routes to incorporating resilience assessment into existing funding, financing, and regulatory processes in the District. The strategic map will show the key touch points and funding co-benefits for resilience planning for affordable housing management and development.
Branch Chief, Green Building and Climate District of Columbia
Department of Energy and Environment