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Making Apartment Living More Comfortable and Energy Efficient

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The apartments at 78 Barre St.
Photo credit: MEAC

Source: Kate Stephenson (MEAC)

78 Barre Street houses three apartments and a business in Montpelier, Vermont. Due to poor ventilation, all of the tenants were contending with persistent mold. The owner contracted with Weatherization and Renovation of Montpelier (W.A.R.M.) to take a holistic look at the building, and develop and implement a plan to address comfort, health, and energy costs.

To improve air quality and comfort, bathroom fans were installed to ensure proper air flow and moisture control. Additionally, the attic and walls of the building were filled with dense-pack cellulose, and the basement was air sealed with spray foam.

Since there improvements have been made, tenants have reported feeling more comfortable in their homes and that mold is no longer an issue. The building’s energy efficiency measures are paying for themselves even faster than anticipated through lower utility bills. Payback for the owner—which was calculated at seven years—is ahead of schedule, demonstrating that one or two strategic improvements can make a big difference.

Square footage: 3548 sq ft
Conditioned volume: 24,806 cu ft
R-value upgrades: R-14 to R-58
Previous heating energy consumption: 852 gallons LP, 797 gallons oil
% infiltration reduction: 42%
% heating energy savings: 73%
kWh saved: 694
MMBtu saved: 138
Total project cost: $15,300
Estimated annual savings: $4,890.95