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Honeywell helps reinvigorate vacant apartment complex

Honeywell has helped the Harrisburg Housing Authority (HHA) lead an initiative to refurbish and reopen the vacant Jackson Towers apartment complex in Harrisburg, PA.

The 159-unit Jackson Towers has been vacant for more than nine years. The housing authority will finance a majority of the $21-million renovation through guaranteed energy savings from previous Honeywell-led improvements at other properties — $10.8 million in anticipated savings in total. Those prior efforts have helped HHA save nearly $1.3 million in annual utility and operating costs through efficiency and comfort upgrades in more than 1,700 housing units.

The new project was made possible after changes to Pennsylvania legislation in 2010 that allows housing authorities to extend the terms and associated guarantees of existing performance contracts by up to eight years, for a maximum of 20 years. HHA can leverage the continued savings to help restore Jackson Towers as a result.

In addition, Honeywell will work with area contractors to complete most of the upgrades, helping create or sustain an estimated 110 jobs during the construction phase of the project.

“The Jackson Towers renovation is a showcase of the value of thoughtful public-private partnerships,” said Senghor Manns, CEO and president of Harrisburg Housing Authority. “The project not only elevates our mission to improve the quality of life for residents, it will help change the notion of public housing. We would not be in a position to bring this facility back to life — important for the entire City of Harrisburg — without partners like Honeywell and the ability to reinvest the energy savings they’re able to deliver."

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, annual funding levels for public housing authorities have decreased from $3 billion in 2000 to $1.8 billion in 2013. In addition, average utility costs per unit increased more than 40% from 2004 to 2011 due to higher energy rates and building systems that have exceeded their useful life.

“Performance contracts provide a valuable means for public entities with lean budgets to improve facilities that communities depend on,” said Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “With funding enabled through guaranteed savings, these projects can effectively pay for themselves. That’s a win for everyone.”

As part of the HHA project, Honeywell will install energy-efficient windows, modern heating and cooling equipment, and update the building envelope to minimize the loss of conditioned air. The company will also put in a new elevator system and emergency generator, and upgrade exterior insulation and finishing systems in the 14-story complex.

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