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Greenbuild 2012 Report: Multifamily

Greenbuild 2012 Report: Multifamily

Sustainably designed apartments are apples of developers’ eyes


By By Amy McIntosh, Associate Editor, Raissa Rocha, Associate Editor, and Rob Cassidy, Editorial Director | November 11, 2012
The LEED Platinum-rated Panama Commons, in Panama City, Fla., is a community of
The LEED Platinum-rated Panama Commons, in Panama City, Fla., is a community of four-story, family-oriented apartment buildings

As we noted in our July Giants 300 Report, multifamily construction, especially apartment buildings, has been the “darling” of the real estate industry in the last couple of years—and sustainably designed projects are contributing to that boom, even in places you might not think of finding them.

In Portland, Maine, the Oak Street Lofts have become the first affordable multifamily housing to earn LEED Platinum certification in the Pine Tree State. Designed by CWS Architects, the 37 artist-friendly efficiency apartments are 40% more energy efficient than the typical multifamily building. Wright-Ryan Construction (GC) diverted more than 60% of construction waste from landfill.

Thornton Tomasetti/Fore Solutions, acting as sustainability/LEED for Homes consultant, used energy modeling to analyze window glazing types, solar thermal water heating, and a heat-recovery ventilation system, along with envelope design to improve thermal breaks at the exterior wall.

In Panama City, Fla., Hardin Construction teamed with Chap Ashmore & Associates and architect Martin Riley Associates on the 92-unit Panama Commons, the first family-oriented affordable housing community in the Southeast to earn Platinum in the LEED for Homes program.

This was the twelfth project Hardin Construction has completed for the Paces Foundation. Hardin also constructed Galleria Manor, an 88-unit seniors-housing complex in Smyrna, Ga., and Whitehall Manor, in Cleveland, Ga., for the nonprofit housing development corporation. Both projects earned LEED Gold.

Green multifamily developments are also sprouting up in more traditional locales. In New York, construction is under way at 211 East 13th Street on an eight-story condominium development designed by BKSK Architects. The 110,000-sf, 83-unit tower, designed to LEED Silver standards, features a stormwater filtration system—considered unusual for an urban project—and both a blue roof (to store rainwater) and a green vegetated roof to relieve the overtaxed sewer system. +

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