City Gardens consists of 274 apartments in 27 two-story, “garden style” buildings spread across 11.9 acres in a densely-populated area of Orange County, California. Each building contains a mix of studio, one- and two- bedroom apartments serving low-income residents. City Gardens was constructed in 1969 and underwent a major rehabilitation when LINC purchased the property in 1996. This project began in July of 2012, with most improvements completed within one year. SEED Partners, LINC’s mission-driven energy company, managed the entire green retrofit process.
LINC took advantage of the fact that it is significantly easier to implement green retrofits on a property at the time of purchase, refinance, or rehabilitation given that financing options may be available. In 2012, SEED began to pursue a comprehensive retrofit using proceeds from a Fannie Mae Green Finance Plus loan, the first loan of its kind in the country. In addition, LINC partnered with the utilities and other government-funded programs take advantage of a suite of no-cost and subsidized measures to improve energy and water efficiency.
View the full case study, including data on energy consumption and cost savings, on the Better Buildings Challenge website.