By Susan Ridgeway, Director of Property Operations, Forest City Residential Management
Forest City Navy Hawaii, which has developed more than 6,500 military family homes and also manages more than 35 neighborhoods in Hawaii, has embarked upon an array of community improvement/reinvestment projects which collectively will total $8.26 million.
Residents are doing their part to conserve energy as evidenced by the 12 percent reduction in electric usage since RECP [Resident Energy Conservation Program] began in 2011.
Forest City continues its efforts to aid in energy conservation with most of the projects that are being undertaken in 2014 aimed at improving energy efficiency, which will provide sustainability benefits and lower energy bills while also providing enhanced comfort for current and future residents.
The largest portion of Forest City’s neighborhood enhancement projects involves replacing the air conditioning systems in 903 military family homes located in the Moanalua Terrace and Doris Miller Park neighborhoods. Each home there will receive new, more energy-efficient air conditioner compressors and air handlers.
The new air conditioners and related home modifications are expected to significantly reduce energy consumption for cooling while improving air flow and efficiency in each of the refitted homes.
New refrigerators for a total of 264 homes in the Doris Miller Park and Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, Kauai are also a part of the community enhancement plans. This $230,000 project will replace older model refrigerators with new Energy Star-rated appliances which are designed to use at least 15 percent less energy than non-rated models.
One energy-saving system already in place in many military family homes is the use of solar water heaters (except in historic homes). Forest City expects to spend about $1 million to keep these highly sustainable components operating during 2014.
In addition to widespread energy-efficiency enhancements, Forest City will also be spending $1 million on improvements and replacements to playground equipment in several neighborhoods.
The reinvestment budget allows for 13-15 playgrounds in the Doris Miller Park, Moanalua Terrace, PMRF Barking Sands and NCTAMS [Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station] to be redone. Hawaii’s high humidity and salty air can reduce the lifespan of outdoor facilities and can increase the amount of repair and replacement work necessary.
“While we’re nearing the end of our initial development and construction phase for Navy Hawaii, our ongoing, long-term commitment to maintaining these communities in a high quality manner remains very strong,” said Greg Raap, vice president of military housing for Forest City.
“We’re always seeking ways to enhance the quality of life for our residents while being mindful of energy consumption. These latest reinvestment projects allow us to do both.”