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Green Building Features - Resident Guide

Green Building Features - Resident Guide

Windsor Park Towers was designed and built under the 2020 Austin Energy Green Building Multifamily Rating. Below are green features of the building as well as ways that you can utilize the building to enhance the sustainable nature of the facility.

Recycling:

Recycling is an easy way to contribute to minimizing the proliferation of waste and growth of landfills. Windsor Park Towers encourages residents to separate recyclables from other trash and deposit the recyclables in the labeled chutes located in the trash rooms on each floor level. If you have any questions please contact the Property Manager, at 512-518-5500. The current recycling program accepts the following items:

  • Mixed Paper
    • Newspaper/magazines
    • Home office paper
    • Junk mail/envelopes
    • Catalogs
    • Cardboard (break down and flatten)
  • Plastic
    • Plastic soda/water bottles
    • Plastic milk jugs
    • Plastic food containers (with food particles washed off)
    • Rigid plastic items (#1 thru #7)
  • Metals
    • Aluminum cans
    • Tin/Steel cans
  • Glass
    • Glass bottles

Reduce waste even further by stopping unwanted mail:

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email

http://stopjunkmail.org/sample/kit.pdf

https://www.catalogchoice.org/

Transportation Options:

Windsor Park Towers provides the following alternative transportation options to automobile use for residents.

  • Secured bicycle storage and covered bicycle racks are provided, and residents are encouraged to make use of the wide array of bike lanes and trails provided by the City of Austin. A map of the bike routes is available at most local bike shops or online.
  • ZipCar Austin is a car-sharing option that makes it easier to live without owning or renting a vehicle. Members can rent for a period of time which is a great option for those who do not own a car.

Green Building Features

Below are some of the components that contribute to energy savings and additional ways that tenants can use the components to save even more energy.

HVAC (Air Conditioning/Heating)

The HVAC system provides an energy efficient 15 SEER unit for each apartment meaning that every apartment has individual control over their environment. Additionally, every apartment has a programmable thermostat.

  • Be sure to adjust the thermostat settings if your unit will be vacant during vacations, holidays, etc.
  • In the winter, wear a sweater instead of turning up the heat. In the summer, use the ceiling fan before turning down the temperature.
  • The thermostats are pre-programmed to follow the Energy Star recommended schedule: 

Lighting

The lighting system throughout most of apartment and common areas utilizes high-efficiency LED lighting.

  • Residents are encouraged to create additional energy savings by turning off lights in any room that is not immediately occupied. Turning off lights regularly can save 8%-20% on lighting energy consumption.
  • Keep lights clean. Why? Dust can cut a bulb's light output by 25%.
  • Disposing CFLs. Like paint, batteries, and other household chemicals, CFLs should be disposed of properly. DO NOT THROW AWAY IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD TRASH. Ask the property manager where the battery and bulb disposal station is located onsite (if available), or deposit at a hazardous waste facility in your community or at stores that sell bulbs, such as Home Depot, IKEA, etc.

Ceiling Fans

Every apartment has ceiling fans in the living room and bedrooms. During the summer, ceiling fans provide air movement that creates a feeling of as much as a 5-degree temperature drop and reduces the need for more cooling from the air conditioning system. During the winter, the ceiling fans can be switched to run in reverse pushing air up against the ceiling which pushes the hot air at the top of the room down to the occupied level and reducing the need for heating from the HVAC system.

  • Residents are encouraged to manage energy consumption by running ceiling fans in immediately occupied rooms and to setting thermostats to the Energy Star recommended temperatures. Dont forget to turn the ceiling fans off when leaving any room.

Appliances

The following appliances in each living unit are Energy Star rated for energy efficiency and/or low-water use, including the dishwasher and refrigerator. Tenants can assist in additional energy and water usage reductions with the following tips:

  • Only run washing machines/dryers and dishwashers with full loads. Partial loads, even with adjusted settings, waste water and electricity.
  • Wash laundry with cold water, instead of hot. Hot water is only necessary for very dirty laundry.
  • Keep refrigerators set at the minimum setting necessary to maintain the proper temperature for food storage. Keep your fridge between 36 and 38 degrees F. Set your freezer between 0 and 5 degrees F.
  • Limit opening of the doors and avoid leaving the doors open longer than a few seconds. It is better to open the door multiple times than to leave it opened for an extended period.
  • Keep the freezer full. It works more efficiently full than empty.
  • Use the air-dry option on dishwashers.
  • Scrape dishes instead of pre-rinsing them. Dishwashers made in the past 5-10 years can clean even heavily soiled dishes without pre-rinsing them.
  • Use microwaves and crock pots to cook small meals.
  • Keep the inside of your microwave clean. It improves the efficiency of your microwave.
  • Use lids when cooking. They keep steam in and help food cook more quickly, which saves energy.

The design of the overall building includes water-use efficiencies that equate to using 30% less water than the City of Austin baseline standard. Below are some of the components that contribute to the water-use savings and additional ways that tenants can use the components to save even more water.

Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures

  • Low-flow fixtures are installed and are designed to use less water and be equally functional. Residents shall refrain from replacing these fixtures.
  • Take short showers. Why? They use less water than baths. You pay twice for water. You pay one bill for the cost of the water itself. Then you pay a second bill for the cost of heating the water.
  • If dual flush toilets are installed, when the handle is lifted up, only 1 gallon of water is used. Use this setting with liquid waste. If the handle is pushed down, 1.6 gallons of water are used. Use this setting with solid waste.
  • Report Leaks. A dripping faucet can cost over $10 a month and a leaky toilet flapper can also add up fast.

Each living unit is equipped with a ventilation hood over the range/cooktop as well as a ventilation fan in each bathroom and are ducted directly to the exterior of the building.

  • Residents should utilize the ventilation hood any time the range/cooktop is used to exhaust heat directly to the exterior and reduce the load on the air conditioning system. Additionally, the hood will exhaust smoke directly to the exterior improving the indoor air quality of the apartment. Be sure to turn the hood off at the same time as the range/cooktop.
  • Residents should utilize the ventilation fan in the bathroom anytime the shower is used to exhaust heat and humidity directly to the exterior and reduce the load on the air conditioning system as well as minimizing humidity damage within the apartment.

In addition to the above items, below are additional passive design/construction features that contribute to the sustainable nature of the building.

  • Construction Waste Management over 50% of the construction waste from the project was recycled and diverted from a landfill.
  • Low VOC paints and coatings products used for painting within the building were chosen specifically to ensure that the fumes/off-gassing is minimal to non-existent to provide the highest level of indoor air quality.
  • Interior doors, trim and cabinets utilize recycled wood products.

Monitor Your Energy Usage:
Did you know Austin Energy has a tiered rate structure? The more you consume, the higher (more expensive) the rate tiers are that are used to calculate your bill. This tiered rate structure is designed to encourage energy conservation. The less you use, the cheaper your power becomes! Austin Energy has a free app that allows you to monitor your usage and set up alerts to let you know when you may be entering a new rate tier online. Follow this link to register and for more information.

Laundry:
Each apartment home has High-Efficiency washer and dryer machines provided.

Pet Policies:
You must clean up after your pets. Bag/trash stations are provided for your convenience at numerous locations on the property. City ordinance requires you to clean up after your pet and to keep dogs on leashes. Pets are only allowed off-leash in the onsite Bark Park or designated areas of city parks. Please see and follow the pet rules posted on the entrance to the Bark Park.

Integrated Pest Management:
Windsor Park Towers provides regular organic pest control at all building exteriors and within each apartment home. More information regarding chemicals used and schedules is available to residents upon request.

Practice Good Housekeeping:
Deter insects by practicing good housekeeping. Keep windows and doors closed and keep food and water in tightly sealed containers.

Bulbs and Batteries:

Your community has a recycling station for bulbs and batteries located in the mailroom. There are also a number of locations around town to drop off household batteries free of charge, including alkaline, nickel-cadmium (Nicad), rechargeable, watch, camera, cell phone, laptop and other, similar batteries. Because these locations change on a regular basis, please call the Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 512-974-4343. We do not want any of these items to be thrown into any of the waste bins on the property. If you see anyone placing these types of items into an onsite waste receptacle, please notify office personnel.