Windy Hill Foundation
Mission: To provide safe, decent and affordable housing to low and lower income families in Loudoun, Fauquier, and Clarke Counties and to encourage self-improvement and self-sufficiency among tenant residents.
Windy Hill Foundation (WHF) based in Middleburg Virginia recently embarked on a building program for work force housing starting with Piedmont Lane in The Plains VA, located off Fauquier Avenue.
The 12 unit facility opened in April 2012 when the first tenants moved into this first class project. Certified by EarthCraft based in Richmond Virginia - here are some of the key attributes of construction.
Energy Conservation Unit / Building Specifications
- Insulation: Ceiling R38, Walls R15 and Crawl space R10
- HVAC Geo-Thermal: Heat COP 3.63P Cool EER 29.83
- Water Heater: Geo Spring Hybrid Type (GE) operates in 3 modes including “vacation”
- Windows: Solar Heat and U Factor 0.30
- Water: Low flush toilets (1 gallon)
- Appliances: Washer automatically sets water level based on size of load. Dryer is horizontal tumbler which reduces energy usage and has automatic settings for type of drying required. Range with external hood is Energy Star as are all appliances (GE). Dishwasher designed for low water / energy usage. Refrigerator has top level freezer and 2 doors (top / bottom – not side by side)
Purpose of this specific VHDA Workforce Housing project is to provide affordable rentals to local workers such as teachers, nurses, emergency personnel, farm workers whose annual incomes are within a very specific range and who work in the local area.
Background to location
The Plains is a small rural town with a historical district, railroad (station closed) / 2 crossings within town limits, gas station, restaurants, doctors, dentist, vet, auto repair, bank, community center, fire station, park, specialty shops, etc. and is a weekend tourist destination close to I66 (exit 32), Rt.50, and Rt.17 north of Warrenton.
Due to local residential resistance, extra care was taken to ensure that the tenants would be housed in buildings compatible with the area.
There are four distinct entrance ways to The Plains – from Marshall, Warrenton, Middleburg and Broad Run. Piedmont Lane is located on the “pathway” from Warrenton, I66 and Rt.17 with extremely high visibility and concern for children crossing busy Fauquier Avenue due to commuters passing through at high speed.
Public schools include Coleman Elementary, Marshall Middle and Kettle Run High School. The number of public school seats may settle around 24 for Piedmont Lane units (12). The Plains Architectural Review Board worked with the architects, owners, investors, etc. resulting in a roughly $6 million dollar project ($500,000 per unit).
Land was donated by a well-known family of philanthropists (Mark J. Ohrstrom). Tax laws played a large part in the economic model and resulted in about $2 million dollars in Federal funds.
HVAC Geo-Thermal: Heat COP 3.63P Cool EER 29.83
Pictured above is one of the units (6389)
Energized Research – Learning Institute Founder Michael Rainger has lived on the property since moving in on May 4, 2012 with his son who attends Kettle Run High School in Scott District.
A unique 3-year Energy Conservation Research Project is now in its second year concerning energy usage in identical multi-family workforce housing units. The work has already benefitted Windy Hill Foundation:
- 3rd place in a competition by EarthCraft in the spring of 2013 with testimony submitted by Michael
- Impact of occupancy on energy usage (kWh – all electric units)
- Impact of equipment maintenance on energy usage
- Consistent energy costs of less than $2 / day in one unit (6389)
- Energy usage comparisons in identical units (6 x 2 bedroom, 6 x 3 bedroom) with permission
- Adherence to Windy Hill Foundation Mission by tenants improving their situations
Learn more about Energy Conservation:
Contact Michael at: community@ER-LI.com / Text 540-219-0445