Greencastle of Bayonet Point, a government-subsidized senior housing apartment complex, has been “going green," and it’s getting recognized for its efforts.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District announced recently that Greencastle, 11722 La Madera Blvd., is the first property in Pasco County to be certified under its Florida Water Star program at the "Community" level.
Florida Water Star is a voluntary certification program aimed at improving water efficiency. It’s available for builders, developers and homeowners and has residential, commercial and "community" level ratings. The Community level is for community wide projects.
“It’s going to save you money,” Robin Grantham, a district spokeswoman, said of the program. “And it’s going to save water and help protect the environment.
Greencastle’s management has been adding improvements over the past two years to reduce the complex’s energy and water use.
The Port Richey complex has 80 apartment units and installed dual-flush toilets in each of them. Dual flush toilets offer different flush settings for solid and liquid waste.
Greencastle’s management also added low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and high-efficiency dish and clothes washers.
Energy efficient improvements included double pane, high-impact windows energy-efficient lighting, recyclable carpeting, automatic lights in common areas and rooftop solar panels.
Outside, the management added new water-efficient improvements that include a micro-irrigation system, drought tolerant plants and a rain sensor.
The district says the complex reduced its water use by 1.3 million gallons during a one-year period. The average monthly water bill fell by $974.82.
Greencastle's improvements were completed through a retrofit of the existing facility. The improvements were added over the last two years at a total cost of $1.2 million. A big chunk of that cost was paid for with grants from the federal Green Retrofit program, which was created by the federal stimulus act of 2009.
Greencastle is also now competing in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Battle of the Building.
Greencastle is managed by Consecra Housing Network, a nonprofit housing services organization related to the United Church of Christ.
Find out more about the Water Star program at the Swiftmud website.