Independent Living Community Launches Green Initiative: $500,000 Investment Saves More Than 25 % in Energy Costs in First Year

green_guyPrinceton, N.J.: High tech composting into fertilizer for greenhouse and gardens, a new
energy management system, computerized lighting in community center, takeout orders
in biodegradable containers; new energy efficient light
bulbs in all common areas: These are just a few of the
practices of the Green Initiative by Princeton
Windrows independent living community to reduce its
carbon footprint and realize cost savings through
energy efficiency.

“High tech composting of kitchen waste into fertilizer
that will be used to grow herbs in our community’s
greenhouse and resident’s gardens is a 360-degree
recycling process,” says Tom Jennings, Princeton
Windrows facilities manager and a former major in
the Army Corps of Engineers. “In addition,
maintenance costs are saved by less food being sent
through the disposal, which reduces garbage removal
from twice to once a week, which amounts to $4,000 a
year in savings in the contract and reduces road
maintenance costs. Residents benefit from having one
more morning undisturbed by the sound of garbage

The Green Initiative began earlier this year and so far Princeton Windrows has invested
more than $500,000. The idea was planted by Jennings with the support of Princeton
Windrows’ Executive Chef and Director of Culinary services Richard Blagrave,
Executive Director Sherry Wagner and the Princeton Windrows Condominium
Association and the residents. The new energy management system has already helped
reduce energy costs by 25 percent at Windrows Hall, a 330,000 square- foot, five-floor
community center at the heart of the 35-acre independent living community.
“What we’ve done is an integrated systems approach,” says Russell Marks, resident and
condo association board member. “Tom helped us discover we were not using our
electro/mechanical systems efficiently, so we made the capital investments in a twopronged
attack to reduce energy consumption by installing a better system and practice
environmentally friendly programs like the 360-degree recycling. The improved
efficiencies have made the Hall more comfortable. The initiative is not only good for the
environment, there are also plenty of economic advantages in going green.”

The 360-degree scraps to compost to fertilizer to food will reduce waste by 75 percent.
The independent living community has contracted Central Jersey Waste to pick up the
compost and use its high tech recycling plant to return it as fertilizer in a week. The
company’s trucks will soon run on natural gas, with the associated reduction in noise and

“Central Jersey Waste is a partner in the initiative, they are a very forward looking
company,” Blagrave says.

The future will get even greener later this year with the installation of a new heating and
air conditioning system in the Hall, which will reduce energy consumption by another 20
percent. A modified irrigation system to be put in place later in 2009 and 2010 will
further reduce energy consumption and costs.

The Princeton Windrows staff and residents hope to be Energy Star Certified in the fall
and ultimately to be LEED Certified. LEED is an internationally recognized certification
system that measures how well a building or community performs across all systems:
energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor
environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

“Everyone living and working at Princeton Windrows is totally behind the Green
Initiative here,” Marks says. “We’re enthusiastic and staying well informed so we can
continue to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint while realizing the economic

Pictured above: Alex Medina of Trenton taking the daily reading of the VFD, or variable
frequency drive. New controls installed by Medina have allowed the pumps to be run at
26 hertz, rather than the normal 60 hertz, or cycles per second. The pumps are using
about half of the power they were using previously. The motors weigh 1,000 lbs and are
rated at 150 horsepower, so the savings are substantial.

Princeton Windrows is an independent lifestyle community located at 2000 Windrow
Drive in Princeton, New Jersey, about four miles from downtown Princeton and the
Princeton University campus. The upscale community features distinctive villas, town
homes and apartment-style condominiums on a 35-acre landscape. Four restaurant-style
venues offer casual to formal to private dining, along with elegant common interiors, a
library, indoor pool, salon, spa, a host of other amenities and a strong wellness and health
program. Prices start at about $200,000. The community is managed by Princeton, NJbased
By Design Solutions. Visit or contact Eric Eichhorst
at 800-708-7007 for more information.