KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – The Knox County Housing Authority Monday welcomed people to its Tilly Place location just outside of Bicknell to showcase an apartment that, through transformation, has lightened its carbon footprint, employed the use of recycled materials, and overall, saves taxpayers money.
“The Housing authority, myself and our board of commissioners, ya know whenever we undertake a project, we look like if we were going to spend it out of our own pocket,” said Liz Ellis, Director, Knox County Housing Authority.
The apartment plays home to recycled floors and countertops, a low water usage flushing toilet, and energy efficient light bulbs; not to mention a host of behind the scene features, like efficient water heater and HVAC systems. It’s an effort the Housing Authority is calling a ‘green rehab.’
“Through this green rehab, the sustainable rehab we did on this unit, we actually cut the carbon footprint on this unit about 75%,” said Ellis. “If we had done none of these upgrades the utilities were running approximately $10,000 a year between water gas and electric, now we’re going to be spending about $5,000 a year.”
The Housing Authority maintains four affordable living sites spread across parts of Knox County. Tilly Place Estates has been the target of the green living campaign. The apartment amenities, officials say, could last up to a century.
“As it stands today, unless a tornado or a fire would hit it, all the components in it should last at least 75 years,” said Ellis. All of these efforts come as the United States Department of Energy and the Department of Housing and Urban Development named the Knox County Housing Authority a partner in the “Better Buildings Challenge.” As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, multifamily Partners commit to cutting energy use in their buildings, by 20 percent within ten years.