A new vision for affordable housing

Building codes aren’t the only standards that matter in building design. Living standards—the comfort, cost, and quality of life within a building—are just as important, especially to the residents of affordable housing. During the recent redevelopment of Bayview, an affordable housing community in Madison, Slipstream combined building performance standards with Bayview’s design justice process to turn a standard building-improvement project into a roadmap for the future of affordable housing design.

Greenbush is one of Madison’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods and home to Bayview's community of almost 300 residents. Built in 1971, Bayview’s buildings had come to the end of their functional life and needed an upgrade to meet modern standards such as accessibility. As it turns out, the upgrade was also a chance to transform the buildings to accommodate a better future for all.

The Bayview Foundation wanted to provide modern, affordable housing to not only lower utility bills and reduce emissions, but also enhance indoor air quality, daylighting, and a connection to nature. Bayview partnered with Horizon Development on a plan to replace the current structures with two new apartment buildings, eight townhome buildings, and a new community center. 

Bayview involved residents in discussions of the use of color, natural light, sheltered porches, garden space, and more. With a grant from Madison Gas and Electric, Slipstream helped the team set and reach their sustainability goals. Kevin Frost, PE led Slipstream's role in the project, following the Accelerate Performance procurement process, determining EUI targets, choosing building certifications to pursue, maximizing the potential for solar PV arrays, developing a passive envelope to reduce heating and cooling, and establishing a fair and economical utility plan for residents.

Together, we proved that affordable housing design can integrate sustainability, public health, climate equity, and racial justice. Watch our video to learn more.

Bayview's sustainability goals:

 

Net-zero ready: EUI less than 30.0 and lower utility bills

Passive envelope: Blower door test less than 0.15 cfm50 per square foot

Indoor air quality: Meet standard of care for ASHRAE 62.2-2016

Measurement and verification: Create M&V plan for energy

Design and construction budget: $210 per square foot GMP not to exceed

Net-zero carbon: Site energy GWP is zero or negative