What May Not Work
Other sustainable strategies make less sense for the affordable housing developer. Photovoltaic systems, while they do provide clean energy, require such a large initial capital investment that the payback period can be too long for the affordable housing sector. Technologies that require complicated maintenance or operations might also be inappropriate for affordable housing, where resources are at a minimum.
Still, the technology of sustainable solutions is always improving, and over time many previously inappropriate options will become more viable. The challenge then is to change perceptions. We can learn from other building types that have higher budgets and more sophisticated operations staff, watching to see which technologies are widely adopted to find those that have matured enough to be applied in affordable housing. For example, first-generation condensing boilers required far too much maintenance and might have acquired a bad reputation with any developer that tried them, but now they can be a smart choice.