The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD), city of Birmingham, Alabama Power and local builders have formed a partnership to bring state-of-the-art, “smart” homes to Birmingham’s 99 neighborhoods.
The new Smart Neighborhood builds will incorporate energy efficiency and home automation upgrades during the construction phase of housing units to help make energy use more affordable for low-income families and seniors.
“This is a great partnership with Alabama Power in an effort to provide energy-efficient, cutting edge amenities for families who seek affordable housing,” said HABD President and CEO Michael O. Lundy. “HABD looks forward to strengthening this partnership in the future to incorporate similar technology throughout our portfolio. We’re beyond excited that affordable housing residents will now have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of greener living thanks to the Smart Neighborhood initiative.”
The initiative includes the construction of more than 200 smart homes throughout Birmingham neighborhoods over the next three years. Sites will be provided by HABD with construction of the first homes expected to begin in 2020.
“We’re very excited to join forces with the Housing Authority, Alabama Power and local entities for this vital project,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said. “Neighborhood revitalization has been a cornerstone of my administration and these energy-efficient upgrades are key to fulfilling that promise. Every resident of our 99 neighborhoods deserves to experience this life-changing technology and I’m thrilled that we are making strides to provide them.”
Alabama Power is using key findings from its award-winning research and demonstration Smart Neighborhood at Reynolds Landing in Hoover to provide local builders technical expertise on energy-saving measures and technology installations during the homes’ construction. Each home will be designed with energy upgrades that will measure 15 percent more efficient than current Alabama state building codes.
“We are excited to continue our internationally recognized Smart Neighborhood initiative with great partners in the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District and the city of Birmingham,” said Alabama Power Birmingham Division Area Manager Ralph Williams. “By applying our knowledge to the new affordable housing developments, these homes will provide residents greater efficiency and the ability to easily manage features through smart devices.”
In addition to construction enhancements, homes will feature high-efficiency heat pumps, hybrid water heaters, LED lighting, smart thermostats and security features such as doorbell cameras and smart sensors.
Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood initiative began in 2017 with a focus on providing innovative energy solutions for its customers. Building on the success of its flagship project in Hoover, the company launched the Smart Neighborhood Builder Program in 2018, which promotes energy efficiency through collaboration with homebuilders across the state. Three new neighborhoods are under construction across the state.