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SAHA Embracing Green Building

 

Two of the latest projects from the San Antonio Housing Authority are designed to produce positive results on the city’s Westside and beyond. Earlier this month, the housing authority presented Claudia Mejia, a local single mother of three, with the keys to a home certified through Build San Antonio Green guidelines. It is the city’s first certified BSAG Level II energy-efficient, affordable home that also meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star 3.0 program rules. The home is located in the Guadalupe Homes subdivision. The idea, SAHA officials have said, is to show how serious the public housing agency is about helping to reduce the carbon footprint of its structures and make its communities more eco-friendly.

The site of a home destroyed in a fire, local company Tejas Premier Building Contractor worked with SAHA to construct the house using recycled materials and sustainability measures, including the conservation of energy, water and indoor air quality to meet BSAG requirements. “The San Antonio Housing Authority saw this as an opportunity to build a public housing home that is energy-efficient and helps the resident save in more ways than one,” said David Nisivoccia, SAHA president and CEO, in a news release.

“As one of the nation’s largest housing authorities, SAHA takes an innovation approach to construction and provides counsel to other housing authorities following green building guidelines.” Measuring 1,148 square feet, the home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, energy-efficient appliances, ventilation, siding and windows. SAHA officials have said Mejia, the new tenant, could save about $105 a month on her family’s electricity bill. “The Gus Garcia home is a great example of the initiatives we want to see across San Antonio,” said Anita Ledbetter, Build San Antonio Green executive director, in the press release. “The San Antonio Housing Authority is leading a sustainable and renewable community.”

In 2016, the housing authority unveiled the first BSAG Level I retrofit public housing home on Galesburg. Mejia’s home is just a part of the housing authority’s increasing commitment to rolling out affordable, energy-efficient homes.

Earlier this month, the housing authority board awarded a $6.5 million contract to Metrobuilt Homes, a local homebuilder, to construct Blueridge subdivision. The subdivision, located near Woodlawn Lake, will be one of the first communities to replace the former Mirasol neighborhood, according to a San Antonio Business Journal report. Forty Mirasol homes were razed in the area back in January, the result of a $20 million settlement from a 2007 lawsuit in which SAHA and homeowners claimed the houses were not of quality standard. The Bluestone subdivision will consist of three, four and five-bedroom houses, each accompanied by a single car garage, according to the Business Journal article.

The homes will range from one story and 1,172 square feet to two stories and 1,664 square feet, the report stated. The structures will include energy-efficient appliances and construction material, be marketed to first-time homebuyers, and be classified as affordable housing.

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