Better Buildings Challenge Expands to Multifamily Housing to Boost US Energy Efficiency

DOE and HUD name Columbia Residential as inaugural partner as the Better Buildings Challenge expands to multifamily housing.

Atlanta (I-Newswire) December 3, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the expansion of the President's Better Buildings Challenge to include multifamily housing. DOE and HUD recognize the energy efficiency commitment that Columbia Residential is making as a Better Buildings Challenge Partner.

In his recent Climate Action Plan, President Obama called for leading multifamily housing owners to join the Better Buildings Challenge. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, multifamily Partners commit to cutting energy use in their buildings portfolio-wide, by 20 percent within ten years.

"By committing to the energy efficiency goals of the Better Buildings Challenge, Columbia Residential has taken a significant step towards reducing long term energy costs, supporting innovative technologies, and creating good jobs," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Working together, we will increase housing affordability for owners and residents and foster healthier communities and neighborhoods."

These leaders also broadly share successful strategies that maximize energy efficiency in multifamily housing, contributing actual energy data to verify the energy savings of implemented energy upgrades. Through the Better Buildings Challenge expansion announced today, 50 multifamily partners - representing roughly 200,000 units and over 190 million square feet - have committed to cutting their energy use by 20 percent in ten years.

"Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge are leading by example, demonstrating their commitment to providing more efficient and comfortable homes for their tenants that save money and energy," said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. "We applaud these partners for joining in this leadership initiative and we look forward to working with them as they make their communities more energy efficient and foster greater economic growth."

"When President Obama announced Better Buildings Challenge would now include multifamily, we knew Columbia Residential should be a partner in the beginning," said Noel Khalil, founder and CEO of Columbia Residential. "We have also concentrated on sustainability and efficiency in our communities, and we are proud to publicly pledge to improve our energy intensity even more."

Columbia Residential has been on the industry forefront of environmental stewardship, incorporating innovative design, green construction methods and materials, as well as cutting-edge technology into its developments. As of July 2013, it had nine LEED Silver, Gold or Platinum communities, as well as three EarthCraft certified developments.

About Columbia Residential
Founded in 1991, Columbia Residential is Atlanta's leading developer and manager of affordable and mixed-income multifamily housing communities. Columbia manages nearly 6,000 units in metro Atlanta and is known for award winning design, construction quality and responsive property management. Columbia Residential provides quality, safe and affordable housing for moderate to low-income families that not only meet the needs of residents, but also satisfy the aesthetic standards of the community. Columbia Residential regularly wins national and regional awards for architectural excellence, including most recently the ULI Atlanta 2013 Development of Excellence and a 2013 NAHB Pillars of the Industry finalist designation for best affordable community, at its most recently completed senior community.

Information on Better Buildings Challenge:
About a quarter of U.S. households live in multifamily housing units and spend about $40 billion on energy costs each year. Making these housing units 20 percent more energy efficient would save more than $7 billion per year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 430 million tons. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, DOE and the HUD are partnering with leading private and affordable buildings owners and public housing agencies to cut energy waste and help families save money.

Better Building Challenge multifamily Partners are leaders in market rate multifamily housing, public housing authorities, and affordable housing.

Visit for more information on the organizations participating in the Better Buildings Challenge for multifamily housing and a detailed description of their commitments.

Launched in December of 2011 by President Obama, the Better Buildings Initiative takes a broad multi-strategy approach to accelerate energy savings through leadership, innovation, partnerships and demonstrated best practices. The Better Buildings Challenge is the central leadership initiative through which organizations of all types -- local and state governments, schools, business, and manufacturers -- commit to portfolio-wide energy savings goals and to share successful strategies that help achieve these goals and overcome financial and technical barriers in the marketplace. Utilities and financial firms also commit to focus resources on building improvements.

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December 3, 2013

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