Senior and Disabled Adult HUD Facility Going "Green" Thanks to $1.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Recovery Funds

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Cambrian Center, a senior and disabled adult HUD housing facility, broke ground today on a $1.2 million dollar clean energy and building efficiency retrofit engineered by San Jose-based Salas O’Brien Engineers, Inc. The funds were appropriated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, to improve the energy efficiency of federally funded facilities, help stimulate the economy by creating new jobs and saving existing ones, while investing in long-term economic growth. The initiative is part of a program to help federal buildings become more energy efficient, thus reducing operating costs and saving taxpayer’s money.

Cambrian Center, a senior and disabled adult HUD housing facility, broke ground today on a $1.2 million dollar clean energy and building efficiency retrofit engineered by San Jose-based Salas O’Brien Engineers, Inc. The funds were appropriated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, to improve the energy efficiency of federally funded facilities, help stimulate the economy by creating new jobs and saving existing ones, while investing in long-term economic growth. The initiative is part of a program to help federal buildings become more energy efficient, thus reducing operating costs and saving taxpayer’s money.

The groundbreaking will highlight the Cambrian Center’s clean energy, sustainability and energy efficiency improvements and mark the beginning of residents’ adopting more environmentally sustainable practices. This green building retrofit will contain four ClearEdge Power 5kW fuel cells, a re-engineered “cool roof,” energy efficient windows and sliding glass doors, and energy efficient refrigerators in twenty-four of the units. Salas O’Brien Managing Principal, John Salas said, “the Cambrian Center retrofit represents another opportunity for us to significantly improve an existing building with an aged infrastructure and make it both “green” and more comfortable for its residents.”

In addition to the building efficiency improvements and energy efficient fixtures, the project will create about forty (40) clean-tech, construction and service related jobs for approximately six months. “The Cambrian Center retrofit will create green construction jobs while at the same time reducing long term energy usage and greenhouse emissions,” noted Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose). “Investments in reducing energy consumption, like the ones being made at the Center, are not only good for our environment; they will also be good for the Center’s bottom-line down the road. These investments are about making our country stronger, cleaner, and more energy independent, and I’m glad to have helped the Cambrian Center be part of this.”

The other major component of the retrofit is a first of its kind program that will help seniors and residents of the Center learn how to lead more environmentally sustainable lives. The Center will provide each resident a practical handbook with tips on decreasing energy usage, reducing one’s carbon footprint, and smart ways to recycle in the home. A Resident Sustainability Representative will be appointed by the Center to help coordinate “green learning” activities that will teach seniors how to make wise energy decisions. Cambrian Center Executive Director Ron Anderson said, “not only will our building become more energy efficient and reduce energy usage, but our residents will be given the tools to actively participate in the “green economy.”

Designed and engineered by Salas O’Brien and constructed by SOBe Construction, Inc., the project consists of the latest energy conservation measures and energy efficient solutions. The ClearEdge Power fuel cells, as part of the total energy efficient solution, will supply the building with approximately 20% of its total energy needs and as much as 50% of the domestic hot water needs of the residents.

About Cambrian Center
Established in 1981 as a not-for-profit, Cambrian Center has been making a difference in the lives of the residents and the surrounding community for 30 years. We provide affordable apartment living for seniors and disabled adults in a quiet, residential neighborhood near the Los Gatos-San Jose border. We have 11 studio and 139 one-bedroom apartments, subsidized under HUD Section 8. Residents pay rent based on their income. Our mission is to foster a community of qualified individuals living together in comfortable and affordable housing with access to services that address their physical, emotional, and social needs. For more information please visit http://www.cambriancenter.org.

About Salas O’Brien Engineers, Inc.
Salas O'Brien (known as the “engineers engineering firm to go to”) is an energy and infrastructure engineering firm that provides planning, design and construction management expertise to both private and public clients. Our services focus on evaluating and designing mechanical, electrical, and telecommunication systems from basic facilities to complex campuses. Our difference is an ability to integrate disciplines into one organization that develops and engineers the most relevant and coordinated energy systems buildings and facilities. We take an intelligent, holistic look at energy requirements and use technology to engineer the highest quality sustainable infrastructure. Since 1975, the company has been a champion of preservation and environmental concerns and strives to create a sustainable balance for clients. More information on Salas O’Brien and its services can be found at http://www.salasobrien.com.

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Jamie Bonner
Salas O'Brien
408-282-1500 ext. 3053
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