The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, more commonly known as LEED, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000 to promote practical design and construction methods that benefit the environment. The LEED program applies to many different types of development in the built environment and can be implemented by developers of new properties and owners of existing ones. 525 Beach is the second property within The Neighborhood Developers’ real estate portfolio to be certified under the LEED program. 525 Beach and the LEED program approach environmental sustainability through several criteria:
- Site Selection: 525 Beach is an urban infill development, redeveloping a former industrial property in a dense residential neighborhood of Revere. 525 Beach’s 30 new apartments are only a five-minute walk from the MBTA Blue Line and Revere Beach, connecting residents to valuable amenities by walking. The development puts an underutilized property back to productive use, which reduces demand for undisturbed open space. 525 Beach uses existing infrastructure, and promotes public transit and walking so that residents have multiple transportation options.
- Site Design: With a density of 71 units per acre, 525 Beach protects undisturbed land by developing housing on a compact site and enlivens the surrounding neighborhood by introducing more street life. Revere Beach and Costa Park, a local public park, are within a five-minute walk, which provides children and adults with space for outdoor recreation. The site is designed to reduce erosion and stormwater runoff. The site’s landscaping uses only native plantings, does not use any grass, whose maintenance is water intensive, and instead maximizes drought-tolerant plants.
- Materials & Resources: During construction, 525 Beach’s general contractor tracked how construction waste was thrown away, specifically focusing on recycling excess materials. Where possible, the project will also use products with recycled content or low emissions, including the flooring and paints. No tropical wood was used in the design.
- Water & Energy Efficiency: All of 525 Beach’s apartments will feature high-efficiency showers, bathroom sinks and toilets, and the property’s landscape irrigation system is designed to minimize water usage. The building’s exterior walls are designed to moderate temperature within the building, to reduce the energy needed to heat and cool the building. In the building’s hallways, the lights operate on occupancy sensors, which reduces the amount of electricity used.
- Indoor Air Quality: During construction, all ducts and vents were sealed to minimize dirt, dust, or other contamination that could enter them. The apartments’ walls are carefully sealed to minimize the transfer of air across apartments or into the hallway, and fresh air is delivered directly to each apartment through sealed ducts. Bathroom and kitchen exhaust systems are designed to meet high industry standards that improve air circulation. 525 Beach has also been designed without any fireplaces in apartments – a common source of lower air quality.
- Education and Operations: As part of developing 525 Beach, TND will work with the property manager, Winn Residential, and the property’s residents to continue our commitment to green living. This has included promoting LEED and “green” design to residents when they moved into the building, and training the property maintenance staff on operation and use of the property, including its green features.
TND is proud to participate in the LEED program and we are excited about the benefits it brings to Revere. For more information about LEED, please visit the U.S. Green Building Council’s website: http://www.usgbc.org/