Southampton Town Board looks to maintain high efficiency and environmental standards

Southampton Energy And Efficiency Standards

When it comes to any town project, even one for affordable housing, the Southampton Town Board looks to maintain high efficiency and environmental standards.

Councilman John Bouvier pointed to clustered buildings in Concern for Independent Living, Inc.’s rendering for a proposed 60 affordable rental units as being north-facing. He also referred to Southampton Town’s goal to be energy independent by 2025, and rigid Home Energy Rating System grades that need to be adhered to. Bouvier asked if alternative energy or solar had been considered for the project. He also said he’d like to see LED lighting.

“It would certainly be explored as we get further into the project,” said Jim Havrilla, senior architect at Melville-based H2M Architects + Engineers. He said his company works to maintain Enterprise Green Community Criteria, which were written with some of the nation’s leading environmental, public health, and green building experts. Enterprise’s green building framework is the first in the nation to address the unique needs of the affordable housing sector.

Ralph Fasano, director of Concern for Independent Living, pointed to some of the nonprofit’s projects as having some solar panels.

Tom Dixon, of the Melville-based engineering firm Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, said the apartment complex would use a modified subsurface sewage treatment plant, a smaller-scale plant that allows flows up to 15,000 gallons per day. The entire tanking system and leaching field, except for a 500-square-foot control building and blowers in a noise-controlled enclosure, would be placed underground. Bouvier asked about nitrogen levels, which Dixon said are less than 10 milligrams per liter, adhering to county health department standards.

“We’re striving to get lower, certainly,” said Bouvier in response. “That’s a nice goal, but it would not be a great goal. It’s a big issue for us, very important, so the choice of that system I think is very critical.”

The councilman referred to Suffolk County testing systems controlling nitrogen rates around five milligrams per liter.

Southampton Town Planning and Development Administrator Kyle Collins said with a shallow pool system, because there is no issue with depth of groundwater, the grass in the drain fields may pull out some of the nitrogen.

“I see this as a demonstration of the ability to have these cluster systems be as independent as possible,” Bouvier said. “I want there to be as much of a reduction in energy need as possible.”