HELP USA’s HELP ONE Receives NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence Program Award


$1,000,000 Awarded to Implement High-Performing Features with Bright Power, Inc.


Brooklyn, NY | HELP USA received a $1,000,000 award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Buildings of Excellence competition.

HELP USA will use the award to increase the energy efficiency and performance across the property. HELP USA is engaging Bright Power to implement energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) and solar photovoltaic (PV) at HELP USA’s HELP ONE in Brooklyn. ERVs will improve the building’s ventilation and overall air quality, thus creating a healthier environment for residents while decreasing energy costs. By integrating solar PV, HELP USA will be able to generate electricity at the property, further reducing its annual utility costs. In addition to implementing ERVs and solar PV at HELP ONE, Bright Power is providing commissioning and Enterprise Green Communities consulting services.

Designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, HELP ONE is a four-building mixed-use complex with 503 apartment units, a daycare center, support services, office space, youth program space and community-based retail. The 503 apartment units will include 150 units of supportive housing — 107 units will be reserved for families and 43 units will be reserved for formerly homeless individuals. The complex will also have 351 units of affordable housing — 77 units will be reserved for formerly homeless individuals and 177 will be reserved for low income families. The property is being built to Passive House standards, which results in significantly lower operating costs, greater comfort for residents and minimizes building carbon footprint.

The Buildings of Excellence Competition recognizes and supports the design, construction and operation of low-carbon emitting multifamily buildings in New York. It supports Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal, the most aggressive climate change program in the nation, which puts New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality and mandates an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The competition was launched in March 2019 with $18 million awarded to 28 projects under the first round.

Other members of the HELP ONE project team include DeNardis Engineering, Skyline Engineering and Terrain-NYC.

“Bright Power applauds HELP USA’s commitment to providing quality, healthy, and sustainable homes for some of New York’s most vulnerable residents. We are honored to work with HELP USA and Curtis + Ginsberg Architects to make this high-performing building more efficient,” said Jeffrey Perlman, Bright Power’s Founder and CEO.

Janet Joseph, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Market Development, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said, “NYSERDA is proud to support HELP USA, Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, and Bright Power on this Buildings of Excellence award winning project that features energy efficient building measures and solar panels to lower utility costs for some of New York State’s most vulnerable residents. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, public-private partnerships are bringing low-to zero- carbon buildings to scale to provide residents with affordable, beautiful homes that are healthier to live in while advancing the state’s climate and clean energy goals.”

HELP USA is one of the nation’s largest homeless service providers and low-income housing developers serving at-risk populations including families, veterans, and victims of domestic violence. HELP USA currently serves more than 8,000 people every day at over 50 programs and residences across five states. Since its founding in 1986, HELP USA has served more than 500,000 men, women, and children, and developed in excess of 2,500 units of housing. For more information, please visit

About Bright Power, Inc.
Bright Power provides strategic energy and water solutions to building owners and operators across the nation. Specializing in multifamily apartment buildings, Bright Power has worked with over 1,600,000 apartments that cover 1,600,000,000 square feet. Bright Power’s energy management solutions include EnergyScoreCards benchmarking software, energy audits, energy procurement, on-site generation, green building design services, turnkey installation of energy improvements and ongoing energy management. For more information, please visit

About Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP (C+GA) is an award-winning architecture and planning firm whose work focuses on serving the needs of our clients, the community, and the environment. Founded in 1990 on the belief that everyone deserves access to quality design, and that design can effect positive change for individuals and communities, the firm is a recognized expert in the design of sustainable mixed use, multi-family housing and institutional projects. Our leadership in sustainable multi-family design is recognized nationally, as we are ranked 69 on the Building Design + Construction 2018 Top 150 Multifamily Architecture and AE Firms nationally, along with the top 160 AE firms designing sustainable buildings, and are ranked 83 nationally in Engineering News-Record’s ENR 2018 Top 100 Green Building Design Firms.  Our expertise in new construction and the rehabilitation of existing buildings has resulted in the completion of over 13,000 individual units in New York. C+GA is a certified women-owned business (WBE).