Boundary Village: A Case Study


Boundary Village is located 15 feet from the US Canadian border, giving rise to its name. It is a 24-unit, low-income family housing apartment complex. The complex was originally built in 1979 and consists of two 2-story buildings. Mercy Housing owns and manages the complex which is a USDA Rural Development property. Boundary Village also receives HUD project-based rental assistance.

Boundary Village complex is located in EPA Climate Zone 3. Water conservation elements are priority due to the long, dry summer and fall seasons. Fall is followed by a rainy, humid, gray, winter season, making drainage and moss prevention important, as well.


Mercy Housing implemented a major energy, water and environmental health upgrade at Boundary Village in late 2010 through June 2011 as part of HUD’s Green Retrofit Program (GRP) that was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Boundary Village was one of seven Mercy Housing properties that benefited from HUD’s GRP in Washington State. All of Mercy Housing’s properties in Washington State that were included in the HUD GRP program experienced energy consumption reduction in the residential units (average = 10%) and common space (average = 24%) and 6 of the 7 properties experienced reduction in water consumption (average: 25%).

Upgrades at Boundary Village under the HUD GRP program included the following:

  • Envelope – installed rigid foam board insulation (R-4) under new hard plank siding
  • Common space lighting – Changed from T12s to T8s and installed new ballasts
  • Exterior lighting – replaced 8 exterior 50-watt high pressure sodium amps with 40-watt induction lighting
  • Showerheads – switched from 2.5 gpm to 1.5 gpm
  • Kitchen faucets– installed aerators to decrease flow rate from 2.0 gpm to 1.5 gpm
  • Bathroom faucets – installed aerators to decrease flow rate from 1.5 gpm to 0.5 gpm
  • Cabinets – certified by Forestry Stewardship Council and containing no formaldehyde
  • Hot water heating – replaced existing units with new units having an efficiency rating of 0.94
  • Appliances – replaced with ENERGY STAR appliance
  • Toilets – replaced toilets with lower gallon per flush toilets
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Case Study in Affordable Housing

Case Study in Affordable Housing

Other Benefits

Boundary Village operates and manages to a green operation and maintenance plan that was reviewed and approved by HUD as a part of the Green Retrofit Program. All property management staff were trained on the plan, which helps ensure ongoing energy and water savings at the property. Major elements of the plan include:

  • Green Retrofits, Green Maintenance, Green Implementation of Replacements
  • Resident Involvement, Outreach, and Incentive Plan
  • Integrated Pest Management Plan
  • Green Property Management Certification
  • Owner’s Monitoring Plan
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