Grant Proposal Case Study- Retrofitting Homes

Retrofitting is a fairly new procedure in green developments. It involves adding new technology to improve the energy efficiency of different things. It has been seen throughout the country in many different projects. From converted railroad tracks in New York City, to the possible green roof of the Empire State Building, retrofitting is being utilized more and more. In one big way, it has been used to make homes more energy efficient as well as cut many costs.

Using retrofitting can even help bring a community together, such as what happened with the group Retrofit Philly. The organization held a contest for a block in Philadelphia to be retrofit with green roofing, the “Coolest Block Contest”. Members from many different communitties throughout Philly got together to sign petitions and register to win. The winning block was 1200 Wolf Street. Each of the homes that signed the petition were fitted with “cool roofs”. These roofs help to reflect the sun, instead of absorbing it, therefore keeping the home cooler. This contest was no small effort. It was sponsored by the City of Philadelphia, The Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, and the Dow Building and Construction business group. In ending the contest, the winning group not only benefited from the new roofing, but also received a block party to celebrate. Seeing how important it is to have the community involved in evolving green cities, this project does that in an enormous way. It is the way to branch out green initiatives to future generations (Retrofit Philly, 2010).

There are more programs like the Retrofit Philly going on throughout the country. In New York, individuals are taking the green initiative into their own hands and retrofitting their homes using money from the Green Jobs/Green NY program.

This program will not only help to cut costs and make many homes more energy efficient, but it will also help to create jobs for the contractors doing this green construction.  In January 2011 alone, more than 800 homes were retrofitting through the program (Dodge 2011).

With these and other initiatives, people are slowly working together to create more energy efficient environments. It is so important to get community involvement when doing projects such as this in order to create a sense of unity in such an important concept. Not many other urban greening projects have that same unity. Many others are just large corporations trying to be environmentally friendly. While this is not a bad thing, it is disconnected from many people. I feel that it is better to keep a strong grassroots initiative, which is why these case studies can be a great start to a grant project.

Retrofit Philly. “Coolest Block Contest”  http://www.retrofitphilly.com/owners/index.htm

Dodge, Darren. “New Yorkers Retrofitting Homes Through Energy Efficiency Program” March 10, 2011. http://www.wbng.com/news/state/New-Yorkers-Retrofitting-Homes-Through-Energy-Efficiency-Program-117741258.html

Photos:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/first-phase-of-high-line-is-ready-for-strolling/

http://www.wbdg.org/references/cs_esb.php

http://www.retrofitphilly.com/owners/index.htm

-Sarae Gdovin

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