Tag Archives: solar

An Investment with Instant Dividends

While September has been relatively kind to us this year, with more days featuring open windows and balmy breezes than the need to curl up in a warm blanket, October is usually our warning call: Winter’s coming – and Malcarne Contracting’s ready to help you be prepared for future frosty weather.

Now is the time to check on your heating equipment, before waking up to ice on your lawn. It’s critical to maintain your heating system – to have it serviced regularly and change filters – to keep it running at its best. Wondering if your equipment needs a tune up? One call to Malcarne can have you ready to fight back when those glacial temperatures finally arrive.

Investing in something new

But what if a tune up’s not going to cut it this year?

This fall, you may find yourself in the place where your heating system is ready to call it quits, whether it’s at the end of its life or simply is costing you more to run than to replace. In this case, your old system may be doing you a favor: Malcarne Contracting can connect your home with equipment that costs you less to operate.

Bottom line? Your investment in a new heating system can actually pay for itself with the money you save in monthly heating costs. It’s a purchase that literally puts cash back in your pocket.

A financial opportunity – and more

It’s also a prospect that can affect more than just your home. Choosing to switch from a fossil-fuel-burning heating system to a cleaner earth-friendly system is also an investment in the health of our planet.

Yes, bottom line, stepping away from fossil fuels will save you money, but there’s also a bigger profit margin on this one. By choosing another heating option, we also get to be shareholders in the future of our planet. We’ve only got one – let’s not experiment with it too much.

It’s truly a win-win-win: We’re taking care of our resources, our futures and our wallets, all with one phone call to Malcarne.

Seasonal surplus specials

When you’re talking about a yield this good, there’s no time like the present to dive in. In fact, Malcarne’s offering seasonal specials for our customers to get you comfortable and prepared for what’s right around the corner. Curious about what it would mean for you to step away from fossil fuels? We’d love to walk you through the process to making your house cleaner and more energy efficient – and working harder to stack up the savings.

Before fall’s cold fingers wrap around your home – and have you reaching for blankets number two and three – give us a call.

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This summer, think solar – in 3 easy steps

The season of sun and relaxation is finally upon us: Happy children will scamper off for a much-needed hiatus, vacations are right around the corner, and even the weather reminds us to slow down, take a sip of lemonade, and wait for the fireflies.

Summer’s also the perfect time to catch up on projects you keep saying you need to tackle – especially those around the house. And if you’re thinking solar may be a viable option for reducing those nasty energy bills that kept climbing this winter, we’ve boiled the process down to three simple steps.

After you’re in the hands of the solar experts at Malcarne – find more information at our new website, malcarnesolar.com – all there’s left to do this summer is sit back and enjoy the long-awaited warmth; warmth that’s actually adding to your bank account this season.

Step One: Reduce your energy consumption first.

Solar energy is great, but why would you pay extra cash before first making your home as energy-efficient as possible? At Malcarne, we can help you “reduce before your produce” – to the tune of kicking up to 50 percent of your energy bill to the curb before solar energy even enters the picture.

Our certified professionals can show you at least a dozen ways to change your home and reduce your energy usage – before that first panel is even installed. As our fearless leader, Joseph Malcarne, puts it, if you’ve got a boat that’s taking on water, do you get a bigger bucket, or do you patch up the holes? Knowing where to “patch up” your home through our energy-reduction recommendations means spending less on solar installations – and it starts saving you money before the job even begins.

Step Two: Research your home’s solar accessibility.

At Malcarne, we take the time to get to know you and your home – not only how you use it, but also how it can work for you. The next step in the journey to solar is seeing if and how it can fit in as an option on your property. We can help you ask all the right questions: Do you have enough sun access for solar panels to be installed on your roof? Is there space on the ground that would make more sense? Does your home have solar access at all?

We know what you’re thinking: “They may say I can’t do solar at all?! Why bother with energy reduction?” Don’t be fooled: Reducing energy consumption is always the best first step and will radically reduce your bills – with or without solar. If you’re able to take the next step toward solar, making your home the most energy-efficient it can be will guarantee that you’re not installing more of a system than you need – again saving you time and money.

Step Three: Receive the right system for your home.

We’re used to options – dozens of ice cream flavors, paint colors, car selections – but how do you narrow down those choices? Choosing chocolate over vanilla is one thing, but what do you do when face with the many good, viable options for solar panels now available to the public? Do the panels go on your roof, your yard, the shed or the ground? Where do you even start?

You may be tempted to react like the overwhelmed kid in a candy store, reduced to tears by the looming decision. Or, you can call the premier experts in the field who know the ins and outs of each option. This step poses the most questions, and can mean the difference between saving a bit more after step one’s revamps or taking your house to a net-zero energy home – with no energy bills at all. We know solar and we’re here to guide you – and, best of all, we’re local, living and working right here in the Hudson Valley, just like you.

In summertime, there are a few guarantees we love to count on: Barbecuing will be delicious, even in the rain; hanging out on the porch watching the sun set beats watching a TV set any day; and calling Malcarne Contracting to tackle your dreams for reducing your energy bills is a sure way to make your home a better, more comfortable place, all year long. From energy reduction to solar installation, saving money with Malcarne is as sweet as any summer day.

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Malcarne Solar: Our new branch buds this month!

March came in like a lion, but this month is often a highlight for those of us looking forward to saying goodbye to winter in the northeast. It’s a time to welcome the much-anticipated spring, its milder temperatures, and the new life, change and growth it ushers in. Soon, we’ll see blossoms poking through the long-frozen ground, birds returning to the state, and the new branch of Malcarne Contracting – Malcarne Solar – taking off in the Hudson Valley.

As a company, Malcarne Contracting has been a leader in construction, renovation and maintenance for more than 20 years, but our expertise in energy-efficient renovations has also made major strides. With certifications in thermography, solar electric, geothermal, insulation, and Energy Star labeled homes – and that’s just the beginning of the list – we’ve got the training and experience to take your home from dollar-draining to money-saving.

How? Our tried-and-true system of lowering energy usage before adding the solar elements to your home or business means making smart changes based on your specific structure – and that’s what truly makes it cost-effective, every step of the way.

Our dedicated crew at Malcarne Solar follows the mantra, “First, energy reduction; then, solar production.” For homeowners, that means switching out appliances for ones that eat up less energy, insulating all the gaps, cracks and holes in the house, and considering an HVAC upgrade, for example. Businesses will automatically see a decrease in energy bills by upgrading lighting and HVAC monitoring and control systems as well.

After you’ve reduced your energy usage, it’s time to let the solar transformation grow – and you’ll likely need less of an overhaul because of the smart changes you’ve already planted. If your green thumb doesn’t extend to energy efficiency, worry not: You’re never on your own with Malcarne. Our crew plans and walks with you through each step in the process, not only calculating the cost of the changes, but how much you’re likely to save based on the reduced footprint.

And at Malcarne Solar, saving you money via energy reduction is all we do: As a separate sector of the Malcarne family, Malcarne Solar’s sole focus is to reduce your electric use, then use solar to erase the rest of your energy bills – and to get you the best deal in the process.

Malcarne’s been rooted since 1996, and been growing in our experience with solar energy for the past 10 years. Unlike the up-and-down weather of the month of March, you can depend on Malcarne Solar’s know-how to be the best value and savings for the least investment from you, the property owner.

When it comes to choosing solar energy, we don’t want to simply lower your heating and cooling bill a few notches: We want to transform your home or business into the best-running, most energy-efficient version that it could be.

Want to know more about how you can save the most with Malcarne Solar? Check out our brand-new website: www.malcarnesolar.com.

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Reduce, then produce: Our revolutionary approach to solar energy

Let’s face it: More often than not, our New Year’s resolutions rarely make it to January 2nd. But, as anyone looking back on the craziness of the holiday season would likely agree, it’s best not to judge our productivity by what we accomplish during the craziest few weeks of the year, either.

At Malcarne Contracting, we know that home improvements such as solar energy may be at the top of your to-do list for 2017 – and that they also may seem more daunting than that promise to lose 10 pounds in the new year. That’s why we’ve resolved – and kept our vow – to help harness this type of power and put it within our customers’ reach with Malcarne Solar, a branch of our company completely devoted to this source of renewable energy.

If you look around in the Hudson Valley, it’s not uncommon to see solar panels popping up on different buildings – but you may be unsure of how or if they make sense for your home. That’s where we come in: This year, we want to share our vision for making solar energy work in your specific home.

At Malcarne, simply slapping a few panels on a roof doesn’t cut it. To save the most money and energy, we combine solar energy – at the lowest rate we’ve ever been able to offer – with energy reduction strategies. Our method is the opposite of one-size-fits-all: We’ve spent years coming up with the best approach to manage each home as a unique entity, finding out ways to cut costs before we even begin to go solar.

“Our approach is, if you’re in a boat that’s taking on water, do you get a bigger bucket to empty the water, or do you patch the holes?” says company president Joseph Malcarne. “Our concept is reduce, then produce.” This recipe means you’re using significantly less energy in your home, which therefore means saving money is even easier than tossing out that week-old fruitcake left by your Christmas company.

And we’ll sweeten the deal even further: We guarantee that we can provide the best value package for solar energy than anyone. In fact, we’ll match and beat whatever deal any other company offers. We’re confident that our offer will produce more energy-saving reduction per watt than anyone in the area.

For the past 10 New Year’s Days, Malcarne Contracting has made advances in solar power in the mid-Hudson Valley area, while we’ve been honing our skills in energy-efficiency work for 15 years. Plus, with two decades’ worth of construction experience under our belt, now’s the perfect time to make your dream of saving money – and energy – a reality in your home.

While newspaper columnist Earl Wilson probably resonates with most of us with the saying he quoted in January of 1972, “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions,” we want to encourage those who are resolving to make your dwelling a more comfortable, well-oiled machine: With help, any resolution is possible.

When it comes to your house, don’t make another empty promise this year. Let Malcarne Contracting show you how saving with solar energy can go from resolution to reality.

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Solar Energy: Significant savings from Malcarne means affordable energy options for your home!

There’s no doubt about it: Technology changes at such blinding speeds, it seems nearly impossible to catch up. Case in point: Want to age yourself in the eyes of a teenager? Simply mention the words “rotary dial” and you’re guaranteed to get a blank stare.

Thankfully, when it comes to your home, there are many things you can invest in that won’t go the way of the landline and its pesky cord: There’s no better time than now to invest in solar energy, and no better company than Malcarne Contracting to make your home even “smarter” than the newest gadget on the market.

A plan specific to your home

In the home construction-and-care world, solar energy’s stirred up quite a bit of buzz – and not without good reason. Our customers have discovered that, with Malcarne Contracting’s net-zero energy retrofits, paying a premium for utilities has become a thing of the past. After insulating and making high-efficiency changes, solar energy gathers the energy needed to keep your utility bills low – or erase them completely. When was the last time your latest gadget put money back into your pocket?

If you’re curious as to whether purchasing or leasing solar panels makes the most sense for your budget, have no fear. Malcarne’s trained team of professionals treat each home as a unique entity – so you get a plan for your house specifically; one that will save you the most money.

State incentives and tax breaks

Plus, New York State’s incentives and tax breaks make now an even better time to invest in solar energy. Three forms of funding include a 25 percent state tax credit (capped at $5,000), a 30 percent federal tax credit (with no cap), as well as incentives available from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). It’s estimated that, with these credits, your solar energy system will pay for itself in time – and it’s certain, too, that these incentives won’t be around forever.

Affordable financing through Malcarne

But Malcarne Contracting doesn’t stop there: New to Malcarne’s one-stop-shopping menu is financing options, thanks to its partnership with several financial institutions. There’s no need to look elsewhere – including paying for upgrade and upkeep choices that save big bucks in the long run.

Sure, some old technology – your grandmother’s antique typewriter or Grandpa’s historic pocket watch, for example – only gather more mystique with age. Still, “vintage” doesn’t always qualify for Wreck-It Ralph’s quirky definition of “old but cool” (just one look at your cell phone from the ’90s proves that one).

But while this year’s solar energy technology may change in a decade, it won’t stop you from saving right now on energy bills – or even eliminate them completely. In fact, with the combination of tax credits, state incentives, Malcarne’s financing options, plus the monthly utility-bill savings, solar energy is certain to be as good or better of an investment than that new “must-have” gizmo. Now that’s technology you can bank on.

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Award-winning Expertise – From Us To You

When we at Malcarne Contracting work on projects, our goal is to get things right – 100 percent – every time. And we don’t simply want to follow what other companies are doing in our field: We want to make sure you’re getting top-of-the-line, cutting-edge service when you hire us.

Maybe that’s why we were so thrilled last month to have received the Deep Energy Retrofit Award in the multi-family program from NYSERDA, The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. When compared to all the energy-efficient buildings in the Empire State, Malcarne was able to build a structure with the most energy savings in its class – a building with a 55 percent energy reduction.  

Like many awards of this kind, the challenge starts with building a model showing how the structure would be energy efficient. In some cases, accolades are given to companies based on these models, but proving that a building may be energy efficient from a prototype doesn’t always pan out in reality – and this challenge demanded more evidence. More than four years ago, Malcarne sent in plans for our building and, after they were approved by NYSERDA, we put the blueprints into action and completed the building in 2012.

The results? An award-winning, energy-efficient, five-unit structure, located on 55 Garden Street in Poughkeepsie. Every nook and cranny was designed with savings in mind, including water-conserving fixtures, solar panels to reduce electricity usage, Green Label Certified flooring, and Energy Star appliances. In fact, by using natural gas, the fees for heating and cooling the building for an entire year, including our harsh New York winters, was only $1,200 – and that’s for all five units!

With a full year of energy data from the building – and real tenants calling the place “home” – Malcarne proved why our talented employees deserved to beat out the competition for the prestigious NYSERDA award: According to the newest state energy codes that dictate what it means to be “energy efficient,” a “deep” energy retrofit means that the home must go above and beyond the average energy savings, and Malcarne’s Garden Street home uses 55 percent less energy than what New York labels as an “energy efficient home”!

But while we’re proud of the building that won us an accolade, our true goal is to also make your home into a great example of an energy-efficient structure. Whether you’re looking into a brand-new build or want to convert your already-standing home into something that can save both the environment and your bank account, Malcarne Contracting has the skillset to make it happen.

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Is Geo-thermal Worth Doing?

Those icy winter days almost seem like a fond memory now that summer heat has officially settled in and caused your air conditioner clock in some overtime. Among Malcarne Contracting’s energy-saving makeovers is the concept of geothermal: pumping heat to or from the ground. While it’s not for every home, a geothermal cooling and heating system can make both a major financial and environmental difference in the right structure.

It may sound like a newfangled concept, but the idea of geothermal heating and cooling is, quite literally, as old as the hills themselves: The ancients, for example, used hot springs and geysers for warming baths and underfloor heating. In modern times we still use the term “Geothermal” heating and cooling though its more accurate name is “Ground Source” heating and cooling which are called “Heat Pumps”. Traditional “Heat Pumps” are air-sourced: A unit outside a building that houses a condenser connected by pipes to a unit inside which is connected to an air handler which circulates the air through both coils either heating or cooling your home or building. Simply put, the coils help to either heat or cool the air where you live or work, allowing you to raise or lower the temperature. The problem with traditional Heat Pumps? Air temperatures can vary widely – and you can expect your utility bill to soar as the temperatures spike or dip.

Geothermal systems are ground-sourced, which means they work with what’s below your feet, not above them. While it’s hard for your pump to extract heat when the air temperature is 10 below, the ground temperature remains steady in this area – a consistent 50 to 55 degrees – which means the geothermal system is more efficient. Three common types of ground-sourced heat pumps exist on the market: First, a pond source system works in – you guessed it – a body of water about 12 to 15 feet deep; next, a horizontal loop system, where coils are buried in a trench in your yard about 6 to 8 feet deep; and, third, a well system where the pipes are installed all the way to the bottom of your well.

The real question, though, lies in whether a geothermal system is right for your home. According to the experts at Malcarne, if you live in a high-efficiency new-construction home, or have completed a deep-energy retrofit – and you’ve already made all other high-efficiency changes possible – on an older structure, it may make sense financially to consider geothermal. For all other homes, it’s simply not worth it financially if you want to see a return on your investment. Cost-wise, a system will set you back upwards of $50,000 to $100,000, and while a new construction home may see a payback in five to 10 years and a retrofit in 10 to 15 years, it’s certainly not the first energy-efficient change to consider.

Still, for some, geothermal makes sense for reasons that aren’t monetary. If you’re in an area that relies on oil heat and perhaps have a reaction to the oil odor or maybe you don’t want to sponsor the oil companies or propane or natural gas companies, it’s a great alternative. Plus, add in solar panels and other alternative-energy systems, and you’re one step closer to that net-zero energy home – and to zero energy bills!

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Is Solar Really Worth Doing?

That warm summer sun may be the perfect backdrop for a day of barbecuing, hiking or swimming – but can it help you save for the future, too? With some home-renovation projects, it’s easy to calculate a return on your investment: More square footage, an extra bathroom and a finished basement almost always add value to a property, but other upgrades, such as solar-energy options, remain a mystery to some homeowners. Still, whether you’re looking to save money or the environment, or fall somewhere in between, investing in solar electric or thermal energy systems not only adds value to your home, but drastically reduces your monthly expenses – making sense for your bottom line as well.

When considering a solar makeover, solar electric and solar thermal systems stand out as the most common options for residential structures. Solar walls, used mostly in commercial buildings, also exist, but are less common in homes because they require space on the side of a structure dedicated to black panels. Solar electric systems – also called photovoltaics – gather rays from the sun to turn into electricity, through the use of panels on a home’s roof.

Wondering if solar electric is worth it for your home? The good news is, simply stepping outside your house will likely tell you immediately: Since solar electric systems are very sensitive to shading, they require plenty of sun exposure all day, year-round. If your home experiences shading by even a very small percentage, your electrical output can be reduced by a significant amount – and may not save you as much money in the long run. Still, in houses that don’t have as much shading, many homeowners can expect a large reduction in their electric bill – to the tune of one-third to one-half, or more.
Thankfully, solar thermal systems – which can be installed on the roof of the home, where they catch the sun’s rays, which transfer the heat from the sun into the hot water that comes out of the sinks and showers in your home. While a small shaded portion of a solar electric panel can decrease the system’s output by more than 75 percent, solar thermal systems are more proportional: If you shade 10 percent, your output will only be reduced by approximately 10 percent, making it a more cost-effective and reliable choice.

Since solar thermal will give more bang for your buck, those at Malcarne Contracting also suggest starting there if you’re wondering if a solar upgrade is worth it: Usually, you’ll recoup your investment twice as fast as solar electric by saving a whopping 65 percent of your hot water energy bill. Still, in many situations, both solar electric and solar thermal systems will pay for themselves in three to five years with available tax credits and incentives – making now the time to invest. Three forms of funding include a 25 percent state tax credit (capped at $5,000), a 30 percent federal tax credit (with no cap) – both of which can be used until 2016 – as well as incentives available from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Still not convinced? Let Malcarne’s experts crunch the numbers for your home – for free. By walking you through the process step-by-step and evaluating the amount of kilowatt hours and hot water your house uses, Malcarne can establish just how much a solar electric or thermal system could save you. And like those perfect, sunny summer days, these savings won’t last forever: Tax credits and incentives are being reduced at a quicker rate, which means that three- to five-year payback will soon slip away as well. Harnessing the sun and saving your hard-earned dollars for years to come? It just may be the perfect way to keep a little bit of summer all year long.

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What are the pros and cons of solar electric and solar thermal?

It’s easy to take for granted the ability to flick on the lights or have a hot bath in the evening. But open up your bills at the end of the month, and you may need a cold shower to revive yourself from the sticker shock. That’s where the sun comes in: With solar electric and solar thermal systems from Malcarne Contracting that create the ability to harness those rays, investing in the future could mean freedom from costly electric and hot-water fees altogether.

Most people have already heard of solar electric, also known as PV or photovoltaics. The sleek, futuristic-looking panels on the roofs of houses gobble up the sun’s rays, converting it into electricity to power your home’s appliances, lights – and everything in between. What you may not know is, through the use of solar electric panels’ grid-tied system, energy you harness from the sun is stored up for a rainy day – literally! While the panels capture the sun’s energy, if they absorb more energy than your home uses, the grid-tied system puts the energy back into the grid, making your meter actually spin backwards. When the sun goes down at night, you’ve got more than enough power to last you until the next rays shine.

The downsides? Solar electric requires a specific area of installation with extremely good southern-sun exposure all day, year-round: Those shady trees in the yard may be nice on a hot day, but if even a part of the panels are covered, it significantly affects its output – by as much as 75 percent. And, even with the trend to go green with solar electric, it’s still a costly system – but one that’s worth it after crunching all the numbers. After all, electricity rates typically rise between four and seven percent a year – but sunshine is always free. Plus, Malcarne experts are trained to evaluate the kilowatt hours your home uses each day, based on a year’s worth of your electric bills. With that information, the proper amount solar panels necessary to make your household function are installed – no more, no less – saving you the time and cost of setting up too many. Since you keep your traditional electric company along with adding solar electric, panels can always be added later, so you’re always working within your budget – but the savings add up with each reduced bill.

Also, if you’re like most people, the rising cost of heating your water cause just as much frustration as the electric bill – but there’s a sun-based solution for that, too. Solar thermal systems – such as “solar walls,” which can be installed on the side of a home, where they catch the sun’s rays, warm the air behind it, and use a fan to circulate this heated air into your home – can heat your house. However, these panels, similar to solar electric panels, only larger, typically heat water by absorbing the sun’s energy to warm the contents of your storage tank.

Again, Malcarne professionally evaluates your home to learn how much hot water you typically use – and installs the right-sized system for your house and family. Best of all, you’ll see your investment pay off relatively quickly with a solar thermal system: While you’re likely to see a payback from solar electric in a little more than a decade, solar thermal takes only about five to seven years, giving you twice the energy value from each dollar you spend. It’s why Malcarne typically recommends giving solar thermal systems a try even before considering a solar electric one.

Plus, unlike solar electric panels, if your home is a bit shady, it’s not likely to make a big difference in a solar thermal system. But, regular yearly maintenance and inspection of the system is necessary. Pumps that carry your solar energy to your home’s hot water system need regular professional visits: Solar electric panels, with their more simplistic inner-workings, are easier to keep up.

Still, if out-of-pocket expenses seem too scary of an investment, available tax credits make the cost a bit easier to bear: Three forms of funding include a 25 percent state tax credit (capped at $5,000), a 30 percent federal tax credit (with no cap) – both of which can be used until 2016 – as well as incentives available from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). If that’s not enough convincing, imagine saving 65 percent of your water bill – and 100 percent of your electric costs. “Fun in the sun” suddenly takes on a whole new meaning – especially when it’s helping to manage your family’s expenses in a big way.

It’s easy to take for granted the ability to flick on the lights or have a hot bath in the evening. But open up your bills at the end of the month, and you may need a cold shower to revive yourself from the sticker shock. That’s where the sun comes in: With solar electric and solar thermal systems from Malcarne Contracting that create the ability to harness those rays, investing in the future could mean freedom from costly electric and hot-water fees altogether. Most people have already heard of solar electric, also known as PV or photovoltaics. The sleek, futuristic-looking panels on the roofs of houses gobble up the sun’s rays, converting it into electricity to power your home’s appliances, lights – and everything in between. What you may not know is, through the use of solar electric panels’ grid-tied system, energy you harness from the sun is stored up for a rainy day – literally! While the panels capture the sun’s energy, if they absorb more energy than your home uses, the grid-tied system puts the energy back into the grid, making your meter actually spin backwards. When the sun goes down at night, you’ve got more than enough power to last you until the next rays shine.

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How Malcarne Helped a Senior Facility Achieve the Highest Level of LEED Certification

On July 8, our very own Joseph Malcarne (President of Malcarne Contracting) attended the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the beautiful Birches at Chambers apartment complex. The 66-unit development not only helps to quell an undeniable need for affordable senior-living housing in the Hudson Valley area, but, thanks to Steve Aaron and the Birchez Associates, along with Malcarne Contracting, further strides are being made to make this a more energy-efficient world.  Petra Averbeck, an Energy Analyst at Malcarne Contracting, explains how the Hudson Valley’s Energy-Smart Builder helped to transform this building into ”… a friendly, safe and beautiful living space for these people which is also energy efficient as per newest technology.”

Malcarne Contracting, being the Energy Efficiency consultant on the project, saw to it that the Birches at Chambers complex became such a green building that the development qualifies for platinum LEED certification!

HUH?! Is that a good thing?

Yes, it’s a fantastic thing! LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). When a building is LEED certified, it means that it is successfully designed and built to have energy-efficient qualities such has high water efficiency, lower CO2 emissions, better indoor environmental quality, and that it basically leaves a much smaller carbon footprint. The platinum recognition is the highest possible achievement in the LEED certification process, making the Birches at Chambers project is an amazing energy-efficient work of art!

So what makes it so amazingly green? Well, for one, it has a “smart” boiler. (I bet you didn’t know boilers had an IQ level.) According to Joseph Malcarne, the energy efficient boiler installed “has a brain to it so to speak.” This means that the boiler will modulate (or adjust/adapt) to match the energy needs of a living space.  In layman’s terms, the boiler won’t be creating heat when it doesn’t need to.

Along with the brainiac of a boiler, a Solar Photovoltaic system will also be installed on the roof to generate most of the electricity that is used. Wow! That’s awesome! What does that mean? In a nutshell, they are going to put solar panels on the building to take energy from the sun to make electricity. (View our Hudson Valley Energy Efficiency Through Solar blog post to read a more in–depth look into the photovoltaic effect.)

With the help of Malcarne Contracting, the Birches at Chamber Complex will use around 25 percent less energy than it would if it were built using non-energy efficient construction practices.  This is the second senior citizen housing project that the company has completed with Steve Aaron and the Birchez under this energy-efficient program and there are more to come!

For more information on the Birches at Chambers complex, or any of the Birchez properties, go to www.birchez.com. And for more information on how to make your home more energy efficient, contact Malcarne Contracting at 1-800-798-5844 or email us.

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