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Carter Wall

Carter Wall

Executive Director, Renewable Energy Division, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

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The new VNA Senior Living Community, built on a former brownfield site in Somerville, provides 99 units of housing for low to moderate income seniors in the community. The project incorporates many aspects of sustainable design, including high-efficiency cogeneration for heating, cooling, electricity, and hot water, reuse of rainwater, and solar power. In addition, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center contributed $570,000 to provide a 60.2 kilowatt solar installation on the roof, which will cut the facility’s electric bills in half.

All of these energy savings also mean better services for seniors. Most of the VNA’s residents will have incomes of less than $10,000 per year, and many will be moving directly out of nursing homes back to their community. Linda S. Cornell, President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Eastern Massachusetts, says, “Every penny we save in energy costs will go directly into providing services for our elderly residents. In addition we are demonstrating that the Somerville community not only cares for its seniors, but for the environment as well.”

Many people and organizations contributed to pulling together local, state, and federal funding for the project. For a virtual tour of the facility, go to: http://www.fhlbboston.com/communitydevelopment/profiles/vna_senior/index.jsp

Building on the success of this project, the VNA has plans for more eco-friendly senior housing, including the complete green retrofitting of its first landmark building – the Visiting Nurse Assisted Living Community also located in Somerville and also on a former contaminated industrial site. Click here for more information about the VNA of Eastern Massachusetts and its ground-breaking facilities.

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As Deputy Director of DOER's Green Communities Division, Lisa helps lead a team devoted to working with Massachusetts cities and towns to realize environmental and cost benefits of municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy. Prior to joining DOER, Lisa worked in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs from 2007 to 2012, first as Press Secretary and then as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs. Her previous communications and public relations experience includes both government and the private sector, where, as principal of upWrite Communications, she served clients such as The Trustees of Reservations, The Nature Conservancy, and Partners Health Care/North Shore Medical Center. She began her career as a journalist, covering Beacon Hill for the State House News Service, and later wrote for a variety of other publications including The Boston Globe, Teacher Magazine, Animals Magazine, and The Gulf of Maine Times. The author of two books, Lisa serves on the board of the Saugus River Watershed Council and resides with her family in Melrose.

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