LEED Certifies First Multi-Family Residential Apartments

By Matt Smith

The Blair Towns apartment in Silver Spring, MD, have become the first multi-family residential project to be certified LEED Platinum under the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) ratings system by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Blair Towns is a “hamlet of green history” according to its website, dedicated not only to providing people with a place to live, but one which is also environmentally conscious.

“Our Green Team, led by Chief Sustainability Officer, David Borchardt, PE, LEED AP BD+C, keep raising the bar on our existing properties, and they continued to build on our achievements at Blair Towns,” stated Tower partner, Jeffrey S. Abramson, in a press release, “earning some of the biggest points from transportation, green cleaning, water, energy, and REC’s and turnover management.”

Some of the features that earned Blair Towns their certification include:

– its location near a transit hub, ensuring that over 75 percent of all residents utilize either a form of public transportation or carpool, therefore reducing air pollution

– when an apartment is turned over, all of the materials used in the cleaning process are environmentally friendly, including the carpet and paint

– the building is 32 percent more energy efficient than an equivalent building

– water efficiency through low flow fixtures and not using potable water for irrigation

– and an educational program that helps all residents and staff learn how to reduce their carbon footprint and live green, including a “Green Guide to the Blair Towns,” which provides in-depth information on living green.

The Blair Towns apartments also offer what they refer to as “ecopads,” which are units that include several other green features, including several energy efficient appliances, Maglev chillers and boilers that reduce building energy consumption by 50 percent, a built-in recycling center, and high recycled content carpets, flooring, countertops and cabinets. The units also come with a Smartmeter that allows the occupant to easily set and monitor an energy budget, making it easier for them to conserve and limit their energy output.

“The U.S. is home to more than 70 billion square feet of existing commercial building stock, much of which is leaky and inefficient,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council in a press release.

“By transforming its already LEED-certified project – Blair Towns – into an even more high-performing building and certifying it to the highest level – LEED Platinum – Tower Companies, a longtime champion for healthy spaces to live and work, has further cemented its leadership in the green building marketplace.”

Reprinted with permission from Green Building Elements

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