FORT COLLINS, Colo. (July 10, 2023) – Enterprise Community Partners today announced that Cadence, an affordable community for seniors developed by Volunteers for America (VOA), is the first ever to achieve certification under the Enterprise Green Communities Plus criteria, the most advanced iteration of the only national green building standard created specifically for affordable housing. The $19 million, 55-apartment development was designed according to best-in-class standards for healthy, efficient, and environmentally responsible homes, meeting the criteria for Enterprise Green Communities (which includes dual certification to the International WELL Building Institute’s WELL Building Standard) as well as certification from ENERGY STAR and the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home program.
Energy and health innovations at Cadence include a superior HVAC system, an airtight and insulated building envelope to reduce utility bills and energy consumption, and highly efficient mechanical systems that improve energy efficiency. The foundation includes a vapor barrier and passive radon ventilation system. Cadence also dramatically reduced its water consumption by 42.6% compared to the industry baseline—saving 1.2 million gallons of water per year.
“Resilient building is the only way to future-proof our communities against the effects of a changing climate. Cadence represents a deep commitment to sustainability: healthy, energy-efficient affordable homes that are responsive to resident, community, and environmental priorities,” said Krista Egger, vice president of Building Resilient Futures at Enterprise. “We commend VOA and Cadence for this outstanding achievement, and for showing communities nationwide what’s possible.”
“Volunteers of America National Service was thrilled to deliver another new affordable, service-enriched senior property in beautiful Fort Collins,” said VOA Vice President of Regional Real Estate Development Doug Snyder. “We are pleased to receive the first Green Communities Plus certification featuring energy efficiency as well as achieving Zero Energy Home and WELL Building certifications. Built to promote health, fresh air and well-being for our future residents, the site’s terrific location matches the building’s sustainability goals and features healthy living attributes, including an adjacent bus stop, easy access to the Fort Collins Senior Center, a grocery-anchored shopping center in walking distance, and adjacency to a paved trail.”
In addition to design elements that help reduce Cadence’s emissions, VOA worked closely with Shopworks Architecture and sustainability consultant Group 4 Engineering to build a community tailored to meet the needs of its senior residents. Utilizing healing-centric design to promote resident well-being and comfort, VOA installed large, operable windows to give residents access to fresh air, created common areas and hallways that maximize sight lines, and designed outdoors spaces that give residents places to gather, walk, and enjoy solitary time connected to nature.
VOA is one of a cohort of the first 20 developers certifying their buildings to the 2020 Enterprise Green Communities criteria. So far, this group of 20 trailblazers have built 1,500 new green affordable homes, pursued water quality remediation to improve resident health, and designed almost 600,000 square feet of new construction that is net-zero energy.
Apartments at Cadence are reserved for seniors earning between 20% and 80% of the area median income. Financing for the property included $13.5 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) equity syndicated by Enterprise.
Colorado is one of 35 states whose Housing Credit programs require or incentivize certification through Enterprise Green Communities. Since 2005, Green Communities-certified developments have provided healthy, sustainable, and affordable homes for over 2 million people. Each year, new Green Communities-certified homes jointly save owners and residents over $10 million in energy costs and prevent nearly 28,000 tons of CO2 emissions. These homes have collectively cut close to 15 billion gallons of water, saving owners and residents $51 million.
About Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need live healthy, safe and productive lives. Since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America's most vulnerable groups, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions and many others. Through hundreds of human service programs, including housing and health care, Volunteers of America helps more than 1.5 million people in over 400 communities. For more information about Volunteers of America, visit www.VolunteersofAmerica.org