Malcarne Blog

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

Jul 14, 2010 | Energy-Smart

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 And for more information on how to make your home more energy efficient, contact Malcarne Contracting at 1-800-798-5844 or email us.