Highrise housing

As a specialized market segment for green buildings, housing is just starting to develop. Multiple-unit (above three stories) residential LEED registrations are running at about 3.5 percent of the total, or about 175 of the initial 5,000 registrations through February 2007. The first LEED-Gold high-rise apartment project, The Solaire in New York City, was certified at the end of 2003. Another New York City high-rise apartment, The Helena, was certified at LEED Gold in 2005. In Portland, Oregon, The Henry, a 16-story condominium project, was certified at LEED Silver in 2004. A 16-story apartment building in Portland, The Louisa, was certified at LEED Gold in 2007.23 It is ironic that two very dissimilar

► 5.9 Unico's Cobb Building in Seattle, built in 1910, demonstrates that sustainable features can be incorporated in a historic renovation project. The building is aiming for LEED-NC certification. Photography by Young Lee Courtesy of Unico.

► 5.9 Unico's Cobb Building in Seattle, built in 1910, demonstrates that sustainable features can be incorporated in a historic renovation project. The building is aiming for LEED-NC certification. Photography by Young Lee Courtesy of Unico.

cities, New York and Portland, Oregon, host the earliest (and most successful) high-rise LEED residential buildings, but many other cities are developing similar projects.

The same Portland developer who built the Louisa and the Henry has now focused on building green high-rise residential projects in Los Angeles, as shown in a five condominium tower complex under construction in 2007 just south of downtown Los Angeles. Shown in Figure 5.8, the South Park development plans to create a new mixed-use urban neighborhood. This development represents the first housing built in downtown Los Angeles in 20 years.24 All of the buildings in South Park are to be at least LEED certified, some at higher levels. The $320 million development includes 1.5 million square feet (138,000 sqm) of residential and commercial space and nearly 1,500 new urban residences.

Another type of urban housing project comes from building conversions. Seattle developer Unico Properties took a 1910 Historic Register building, the first medical office building in the West, at a prime downtown location and converted it into 91 luxury apartment units. Completed in the summer of 2006 and 85 percent pre-leased, the project expects to receive LEED Silver certification in 2007. Shown in Figure 5.9, the 97-year-old Cobb building includes a number of green and sustainable components included in the 1 1-story, 93,000 square foot (8,500 sqm) building redesign, including cleaner indoor air, water savings, Energy Star appliances, noise reduction, use of environmentally friendly outdoor gardens and products, recycling programs, and access to a Flexcar car-sharing service and public transportation.25

Based on April 2007 data, LEED has certified only 30 private-sector housing projects, including a number of campus residential halls, so this segment of the market is still very early in development, but should grow quite rapidly as the movement back into the urban downtown areas accelerates over the next few years.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment