The $20 million rehabilitation of Pequot Highlands modernizes two connected buildings, totaling 250 affordable units: a thirteen-story high-rise and a seven-story mid-rise, originally built in 1971. One of the main goals of retrofitting older structures is to create a high-performance building envelope to optimize heating and cooling, which requires a combination of design techniques. Exterior renovations included a complete overhaul of the façade replacing the deteriorating red brick with a new 3-inch insulated metal panel system, substantially increasing the exterior wall’s energy efficiency by 10%. Overall thermal efficacy was improved by applying a new Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDT) roofing system and installing double-paned windows with insulating glazing.
Throughout the interior of the buildings, air quality was improved with the installation of new corridor make-up systems, old faucets and fixtures were replaced with low-flow alternatives to mitigate wasteful water consumption, and new lighting fixtures with occupancy sensors help to minimize energy consumption and increase security. Replacing older appliances in each unit with Energy Star models reduces utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The outdated HVAC system was replaced with a combined heat and power (CHP) system that provides on-site electric power and heating via the existing natural gas service. This cogeneration system helps maintain a consistent temperature and airflow for resident comfort and delivers energy 50 percent more efficiently than traditional systems.
The moderate rehabilitation of Pequot Highlands will help attract tenants, meet energy efficiency goals, reduce operating expenses, and represents one of the best opportunities to create a more sustainable environment.