HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 11-10
Rhonda Siciliano
(617) 994-8355
For Release
May 19, 2011

Boston's Castle Square Apartments to create jobs and dramatically reduce carbon footprint with unprecedented energy-savings renovation utilizing Recovery Act funding

BOSTON - Today, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, Congressman Michael Capuano and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino joined local officials to tour the nation's largest, most aggressive energy savings project of its kind: the renovation of the 500-unit Castle Square Apartments in Boston's South End, one of the city's most critical resources for affordable housing.

The renovation represents a historic milestone toward reducing the carbon footprint of existing buildings. A portion
of the property, the 192-unit midrise, is the site of the largest Deep Energy Retrofit ever undertaken in the U.S., expected to slash energy usage by 72 percent. A Deep Energy Retrofit is defined as a renovation with energy
savings greater than 50 percent.

"We're proud to be a partner in delivering $6.7 million in funding to this project through our Recovery Act Green Retrofit Program that is creating hundreds of jobs and setting the standard for energy retrofits throughout the country," said Secretary Donovan. "By helping to make this development more energy efficient we are also improving the quality of life for the hundreds of families who live here."

"I appreciate the opportunity to see firsthand just how the Castle Square Apartments are being renovated with a specific focus on achieving energy savings. Federal stimulus money is being used to partially fund this project, which is creating jobs and improving quality of life for the tenants," said Congressman Capuano.

"The renovation of the Castle Square Apartments is significant not only for its residents, but for this entire community," said Mayor Menino. "It will create jobs for local workers, preserve 500 units of affordable housing for current and future working families of Boston, and its green design will contribute to the overall health of our City.
I thank the residents and HUD for their collaboration and commitment to preserving Castle Square as a welcoming home for all who live here now and in the future."

"The Castle Square Tenants Organization became an affordable housing trailblazer when it successfully achieved resident ownership of the property in the early 1990s," said Deborah Backus, Castle Square Tenants Organization executive director. "Today, as dedicated residents, we are equally committed to being trailblazers with the nation's largest Deep Energy Retrofit."

The key difference between Castle Square Apartments and standard energy efficiency renovations is insulation,
which at Castle Square will be located on the outside of the building. A new super insulated shell (which will visually transform the property), combined with a super insulated reflective roof, high efficiency windows and extensive air sealing, will increase the insulation value of the building by a factor of 10. The result will be a building that requires only a fraction of the energy to heat and cool. Additional energy savings will be made using small high efficiency cooling and heating equipment, LED and CFL lighting, Energy Star appliances and solar hot water. Residents will
remain in their apartments during construction.

The Castle Square project received more than $6.7 million from HUD through its Recovery Act Green Retrofit Program. This program was designed to create thousands of green jobs as workers retrofit older federally assisted multi-family apartment developments with the next generation of energy efficient technologies. Grants and loans provided
through this program help private landlords and property management companies to cut heating and air conditioning costs by installing more efficient heating and cooling systems, and to reduce water use by replacing faucets and toilets. These Recovery Act funds also produce other environmental benefits by encouraging the use of recycled building materials, reflective roofing, and non-toxic products to reduce potentially harmful off-gassing' of harmful fumes. Funds are awarded to owners of HUD-assisted housing projects and can be used for a wide range of retrofit activities, ranging from windows/doors to solar panels and geothermal installation. Properties are projected to reduce utility consumption by 27% on average as a result of the work.

Energy improvements are being made as a part of a comprehensive property-wide green renovation to be completed
in March 2012. Construction on Castle Square is expected to create more than 200 jobs.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.


Content Archived: May 30, 2012