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Rhonda Rosenberg, Director of Communications
King County Housing Authority
(206) 574-1185

King County Housing Authority starts $1.6M stimulus project in Burien

Funds will be used to reduce energcy costs in public housing complex, provide jobs

Apr. 20, 2011

Workers from CDK Construction have begun work on $1.6 million in energy efficiency upgrades and building envelope renovations at Boulevard Manor, a 70-unit public housing complex for seniors and persons with disabilities in the Boulevard Park neighborhood in Burien.  The project is being funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) intended to provide or preserve jobs across America.

“Not only does this initiative provide good paying construction jobs in our community – jobs that will continue to help get the economy get back on track −  it will also enhance the quality, longevity, and energy efficiency of this vital public asset,” said Representative Jim McDermott, who represents Seattle in the U.S. Congress.

Nationwide, the Obama administration dedicated $4 billion in ARRA funding to housing authorities to help address the backlog of repairs the country’s public housing stock.

This “Green Communities and Energy Efficiency Upgrade” project encompasses building envelope renovations on the four-story building. To prevent moisture and dry rot from threatening the structural integrity of Boulevard Manor, which was built in 1969, the exterior will be sealed with a weather-resistant barrier, and wrapped with a layer of rigid insulation which will be covered with Hardie Board ™ fiber cement siding.  The installation of new energy-efficient windows will complete the building envelope improvements. In addition to assuring the building is watertight, the new exterior façade will update the building’s appearance with brighter colors. The project also will remove old baseboard heaters, replacing them with ductless split system heat pumps and replace the toilets with water-conserving 1.0 gallon per flush models.

Utility consumption will be reduced by an estimated 25 percent for residents, many of them living on fixed-incomes, when the work is finished.

“This project is an investment in our community,” said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority. “In addition to creating jobs in the construction and building industries, which have been hit hard during the economic downturn, we’re improving the carbon footprint of the complex. When completed we’ll see significant energy (and water) savings, as well as substantial greenhouse gas reductions.”

Well-paying jobs construction jobs play an essential role in reinvigorating the economy. A national study by the Econsult Corporation has measured the economic impact of investing in public housing. It showed that every construction dollar generates an additional $2.12 in economic activity through job creation, spending by vendors and suppliers, purchase of goods and services, and consumer spending by workers.

Chris Davies, president of CDK Construction Services, Inc., the general contractor for the building envelope project, agrees. “This recession has caused a severe downturn in the construction sector,” Davies said. “In the last year-and-a-half, we shed more than half our workforce — going from a peak of 80 in early 2009 to a low of 34 employees. The four building envelope/energy efficiency projects we’re executing on behalf of KCHA have contributed significantly to CDK’s ability to hire more workers. We’re currently back up to 58 employees and still hiring.”

Architectural services are being provided by Environmental Works Architects.

L.A. Olson Construction, Inc. will install the new siding. Accurate Painting is the painting contractor and Farmers Electric Design and Construction, LLC is the electrical contractor. Framing, insulation, and drywall repair will be provided by PowerCo Drywall Systems, LLC. Approximately 36 workers from a variety of trades and occupations will be employed on the project. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October.

KCHA administers a range of quality affordable rental and homeownership programs in the Puget Sound region. The Authority serves more than 17,000 households on a daily basis.

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