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KAARI Building Committee Update

2020.12.10 11:24

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The Korean American Association of Rhode Island (KAARI)
Building Committee Update

 

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Island state government is refraining from gatherings to minimize infection damage in the local community. Even though there is only a month left in December this year, the pandemic is expected to prolong.
               
The KAARI Leadership planned a cultural event with the Art Grant received from Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program (RIEAP) and Collaborative Art in 2019. However, the planned event in 2020 was inevitably canceled due to the pandemic. The Cultural Committee pivoted and asked RIEAP and Collaborative Art permission to use the subsidies for this year's cultural event to improve the KAARI building at 1140 Park Ave. The intention was to improve the center to hold more culture classes and programming over the coming years in the canceled 2020 event. Such activities include the traditional Korean Harp and Drum classes, Calligraphy classes, and coming soon, there are plans for  Korean cooking classes.

A total of $8100 was approved to be spent. The Building Committee prioritized the building's original and now inefficient heating system by addressing the outdated boiler. In researching and consulting experts in a formal contractor bidding process, the Building Committee discovered a Heat Pump System option that managed the building's heating needs while leveraging the existing hardware and solved the summer cooling need.

Heat Pump System installation began at the end of October and was completed mid-November.

The total amount used for the Heat Pump System was $12,800. The cost was $8100 from the Cultural Committee, $1500 for COVID-19 RELIEF Funding received at the end of May from RIEAP, $1000 from KAARI's general operating budget remaining $2200 from the Building Committee.

Additionally, through the responsible due diligence performed in the project's preparation, a corresponding energy efficiency improvement rebate was identified as applicable through National Grid Energy Efficiency Programming. The expected rebate amount is $1400, which brings the project's net cost down to $11,400 for a new heating and cooling throughout the building. Detailed financial details will be announced in the financial report at the end of the year.  
 
In addition to saving on heating and cooling costs with the Heating and Cooling Rebate, further initiatives were explored in reducing the leakage of energy by addressing the building's envelope. The National Grid EnergyWise Program includes a diagnosis by an energy specialist who then makes recommendations to improve the building's environment. In KAARI's building, the attic insulation was 4" when it is recommended to be 10-14". Through the Weatherization Barrier Incentive, National Grid offered a 100% incentive for insulation measures and 100% for air-sealing measures, not to exceed $15,000 per calendar year. Under this program, KAARI will be receiving $5,738 worth of services (14" flat cellulose insulation, attic damming, ventilation and soffit installation, home air sealing, duct sealing, weather stripping windows and doors) all for free. This work will continue through next spring.

Other smaller improvements included addressing the combustion gas spillage from the building's hot water tank. It cost $270 to increase the smoke pipe from 3" to 4" and reseal the connection point to the chimney as performed by Autiello Plumbing. Using a $250 National Grid rebate, the improvement's net cost is $20 to KAARI. Additionally, KAARI installed a new thermostat for the boiler and finished installing basement ventilation, all at no additional cost to the 2020 budget.

Following the new roof project ($11000, paid by the insurance company) completed in May 2018, this Heat Pump system (Heating/AC) will help KAARI in future activities and meetings. As the pandemic ends, we hope that the KAARI community will more actively use the improved building.

KAARI Leadership is deeply grateful for the consideration of the Building Committee, the Cultural Committee, and everyone who gathered opinions and expertise in promoting the upgrade of the KAARI building.

For KAARI community members interested in learning more about energy efficiency, National Grid rebate programming, renewable solar energy production, and storage in the state of Rhode Island, Suzanne Sharkey has offered herself as a point of contact. She advised throughout the KAARI building project and is happy to extend herself to the community. Please contact her by email, susharkey@gmail.com

Thank you.
 
Building Committee: Dongsoo Lee, Geunchan Park, Wonkyung Cho, Changyeon Kim, Bongsup Cho  
Cultural Committee: Sangwook Ji, Kwangok Yoon, Wonkyung Cho, Changyeon Kim, Bongsup Cho