National Register of Historic Places Reference #85000612
May 22, 2017
Portland, ME – WISHROCK is thrilled to be celebrating our fifth Enterprise Green Communities Certified* project: Loring House. This historic structure, formerly Portland City Hospital, was a unique challenge, but revealed an even greater opportunity. This 4-story, 104-unit property underwent a complete transformation to preserve affordable, healthy housing and to lower utility costs. WISHROCK partnered with both Portland Housing Authority and Maine State Housing Authority to secure financing for critical building upgrades that directly improved lighting and air quality throughout the building. The project leveraged financing for cost-effective energy and water improvements, including new windows throughout and the installation of a high-performance indoor air exchange system. In addition, LED lighting was installed throughout the building.
New features were added to improve resident health and create a more vibrant community. A major change to the property was the replacement of carpet with resilient, hard surface flooring throughout the common areas and in units on the first two floors—reducing the presence of allergens. Air sealing tests also showed 50% or greater reduction in unit airflow. These measured changes have dramatically reduced air drafts—a large improvement in indoor comfort during Maine’s long winters.
Outside, 5,000 plantings were installed to compliment the surrounding evergreens. Historic birch trees were preserved along the building’s exterior too. Additionally, a new outdoor common space was created—a barbeque and picnic area—which allows residents another place to congregate, with a great view overlooking one of Portland’s oldest and largest trees.
“Loring House demonstrates the power of historic preservation and green development. This certification reflects a concerted commitment of many partners to keep sustainability and resident health in focus,” stated Trisha Miller, WISHROCK Chief Sustainability Officer. “We’re already seeing direct benefits in terms of energy cost savings too—a reduction in electricity consumption while adding new air handling equipment to improve air quality.”
At Loring House and across its portfolio, WISHROCK operates as a triple bottom line company. As a Better Building Partner, the company aims to reduce portfolio-wide energy use by 20 percent and to provide low-income communities with a healthy and sustainable living environment.
*Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and Certification promotes energy and water efficiency, healthy housing, and resource conservation. In order to receive this national certification, an affordable housing developer must meet a number of criteria involving integrative design, location and neighborhood fabric, site improvements, water and energy conservation, and green building materials.
Trisha Miller, Chief Sustainability Officer
The principals of WISHROCK have been working together to successfully create and maintain safe and supportive affordable housing communities for the past 10 years. WISHROCK is active in 9 states, where we focus on the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing communities, often in difficult settings and challenging markets. We take great pride in preserving the affordability of the communities we purchase and redevelop. Our company is committed to improving the quality of the lives of our residents through dedicated empowerment services, and to operating at the forefront of sustainability.