Preservation & Sustainability
Bickerdike employs a diverse array of strategies to preserve our affordable rental housing portfolio of 1,022 units in 125 buildings, including:
- Routine maintenance and repairs to keep our properties clean, safe and in good condition
- Preventative and cycle maintenance to promote efficiency
- Capital replacements and improvements
- Green retrofits to take advantage of new technology at our older properties
- Long term ownership structures that will keep our units affordable in perpetuity
Bickerdike’s deep commitment to preservation is demonstrated by the fact that every affordable rental unit we’ve ever developed still remains today as quality, affordable housing and is on a solid foundation to continue as a future asset for low income families in our community.
Long before Green entered the housing vernacular, Bickerdike integrated sustainability into our housing developments in the following ways:
- Emphasis on quality durable construction
- Early Concern with Energy Efficiency
- All projects built with local hiring and contracting
- All projects are infill or rehabilitations that promote efficiencies of urban density
The success of our sustainability efforts is demonstrated by our projects that we built or rehabbed decades ago which all continue today to be attractive community assets and quality affordable housing.
In addition to incorporating sustainability into our developments for decades, Bickerdike has also been a leader in employing new Green technologies throughout our properties.
Rosa Parks Apartments
Completed in 2010 was our first comprehensively planned, green development. Rosa Parks Apartments consists of eight newly constructed, pre-cast masonry buildings with superior insulation and energy efficient cooling and heating systems, including one building with geothermal HVAC. Other green components include: Solar hot water, Energy Star appliances, compact fluorescent lighting, located near transit, permeable paver parking lots, native landscaping, bamboo floors, and low-flow water fixtures. All residents receive a Green Manual with information on the green systems in their building and tips for sustainable living. The largest Rosa Parks building is Chicago’s first LEED Gold certified affordable multifamily building.
Many of the new green systems and components pioneered in Rosa Parks Apartments have become standard in our new housing developments such as our recently completed Zapata Apartments and in the major rehabilitation of the 1704 N. Humboldt Building.
Resident Green Training and Involvement
Bickerdike is a housing industry leader in training and engaging residents on green and sustainability issues. All residents of our new developments receive an orientation and Green Manual with information on the green systems in their building, tips for sustainable living and ways to save money by going green.
The majority of Bickerdike’s affordable rental housing portfolio consists of buildings built or rehabbed more than 15 years ago. Accordingly, many building systems have become outdated. Bickerdike has strategically carried out Green retrofits in our older buildings that result in significant savings to residents and building operations and have a positive impact on resident quality of life and the environment.
Working in partnership with groups such as Elevate Energy and Enterprise Green Communities, we have conducted energy saving retrofits on more than 350 units. These retrofits typically include:
- Roof insulation and sealing
- High efficiency furnaces
- Low-flow water saving fixtures
- Compact fluorescent lighting (CFL)
- Energy Star appliances