Solar, Tech Fueling Posterity Heights

Posted: Updated:
(Rendering of Posterity Heights' first pahse, the Scholar House, provided by BWI LLC.) (Rendering of Posterity Heights' first pahse, the Scholar House, provided by BWI LLC.)
FORT WAYNE -

Fort Wayne’s Moving Forward project is bringing a first to the state’s second-largest city – a large solar array, which is part of an ongoing effort to make the development affordable for the community’s highest-need families.

Posterity Heights is a $42 million affordable, sustainable housing development being built in southeast Fort Wayne. It's being developed by Indianapolis-based BWI LLC on the site of the former McMillen Apartments. A key aspect of the design is a 500-kilowatt solar array, which is a critical element in the effort to drive down the cost of home ownership.

BWI Chief Executive Officer Gary Hobbs says the goal is to keep utility, rent and transportation costs at less than 45 percent of paychecks for Posterity Heights residents. He says, in traditional housing, those bills can often amount to 60-65 percent of take-home pay.

Technology is going to play a key role in the sustainable design and how residents use it. Developers are working with Indiana Michigan Power on the solar array. The utility is providing a battery to store the energy.

In addition, another partnership is giving Posterity Heights residents the opportunity to take part in their own energy conservation and offering rewards for doing so. BWI is working with Purdue University on gamification technology to help users monitor energy usage.

“Not only are we providing the solar energy, but we’re actually allowing our residents to see how much energy they’re using real-time, so that they can adjust their energy-using habits,” says Hobbs. “There’s awards that we’re looking to give away if they hit their thresholds to make it fun and interesting; putting their name in a lottery if they go below a certain threshold for the month relative to their neighbors and win a gift certificate to Walmart or whatever.”

BWI says demand has been strong for the first set of 44 apartments. Construction on the first phase is expected to be complete by the end of the month, with developers hoping to have it all leased by the first quarter of 2019. Hobbs expects the solar array to be installed and data collection to begin around the same time.

The first phase, called Posterity Scholar House, targets single-parent families where the renter is enrolled at a local college. The next phase will include a business accelerator and incubator, a grocery store and a federally-qualified health center leased by Lutheran Health Network. The third and fourth phases will feature rental and lease-to-own townhomes.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the project, Hobbs says, is how it pulls together contributions from multiple partners to create a model that he believes can be duplicated.

“When you add a net zero-type application, solar array with a battery storage component that benefits the utility provider and couple that here with the technology app that’s part of the National Science Foundation and Purdue’s research grant to look at ways of how you incentivize the communities, especially low-income communities to be more energy-conscious…those pieces make this project very, very unique, but also very impactful, and a business model we think can be repeated.”

Hobbs says gamification will keep residents engaged in their energy usage.
Hobbs says technology is key to driving down the cost of living.
  • Perspectives

    • Seven Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Writing

      "I hate to write!" While that phrase is music to my ears, because it ensures my income will persist, it also saddens me. Far too many people dislike writing, largely because they’re intimidated by the process of knitting words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Nearly everyone needs to write from time to time, and the ability to assemble words in a coherent way can impact your success. Whether you have to write reports, proposals, memos, or even emails...
    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Indiana Liquor Group to Buy Save-On Liquor Chain

      Indiana Liquor Group LLC will work with the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission this week for final approval of its purchase of Save-On Liquor stores. Our partners at The Herald Bulletin report Phillip E. Miller agreed to sell the 31-location package store chain to ILG last month. 

    • Books & Brews Acquires Flat12 Bierwerks

      Indianapolis-based Books & Brews has announced its acquisition of Flat12 Bierwerks, also based in Indy. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, however Books & Brews says it will continue to operate Flat12 under the same brand name. The acquisition is a continuation of an existing partnership between the two entities. Books & Brews says Flat12 has been a brewery partner for the past two years, brewing all of B&B's flagship and seasonal beers.

    • New Tourism Director Has Plans For Growth

      The new director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development says she hopes to create a strategic plan to continue the growth of tourism in the state. Misty Weisensteiner began her new role earlier this month after being appointed by Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch in December. The former executive director of the Orange County Economic Development Partnership says tourism and economic development go hand-in-hand and there needs to be a greater focus on that relationship.

    • Loeb Stadium Project in Final Design Phase

      The $17 million overhaul of Loeb Stadium in Lafayette is in its final planning stages. The Journal & Courier says the overall design of the project is complete, which includes flipping the field, an additional suite and a new entrance designed to be a more visible landmark. Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski unveiled plans for the reimagining of the more than 75-year-old stadium in 2017. The city council earlier this month approved a $17 million bond to fund the project.

    • BMWC Constructors Announce Leadership Changes

      Indianapolis-based BMWC Constructors, Inc. continues their strategic growth with leadership changes. Chairman of the Board Jim Davis retired after eight years in the role and after 30 years with the company.  President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Acton will move into the role of Chairman of the Board, while remaining CEO.