Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) has developed its own strategy to protect its 120 properties from the negative impacts of severe weather events.
A new policy ensures that there is backup power for an “area of refuge” that is typically the community space and management offices on the first floor. These spaces allow residents to gather comfortably in an area with heating or cooling and ventilation, hot and cold water, power outlets, and refrigeration for medication.
POAH makes this allowance when replacing a generator on existing buildings and when it constructs new housing. Previously, when generators were installed, they were typically limited to supplying certain code-required items such as hallway lighting, life-safety systems, and elevators.
POAH has also been incorporating passive house design into new construction projects and is pursuing deep energy retrofits at most rehab projects. “Making the enclosure air-tight and adding continuous insulation can create a stable interior temperature, allowing residents to stay housed in power outages during winter and summer months for days at a time,” the organization says in a news release.