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.
- Highland Terrace is the first property within The Neighborhood Developers’ real estate portfolio that pursued LEED certification. The U.S. Green Building Council recognized Highland Terrace with “Platinum” status – the highest ranking possible. Highland Terrace was the first building in Chelsea to be recognized as LEED Platinum. Highland Terrace and the LEED program approach environmental sustainability through several criteria:
- Site Selection: Highland Terrace is an urban infill development, redeveloping a former industrial property, close to downtown Chelsea. It puts an underused property back to productive use, and reduces demand for development of undisturbed open space. Highland Terrace uses existing infrastructure, and promotes public transit and walking so that residents have multiple transportation options.
- Site Design: With a density of 35 units per acre, Highland Terrace protects undisturbed land by developing housing a more compact site, and enlivens the surrounding neighborhood by introducing more street life to the Box District and new residents to downtown. The public park next door 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 and minimizes the use of grass, whose maintenance is water intensive, and instead maximizes drought-tolerant plants.
- Materials & Resources: During construction, Highland Terrace’s general contractor tracked how construction waste was thrown away, specifically focusing on recycling excess materials. Where possible, the project used 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 Highland Terrace’s apartments include high-efficiency showers, bathroom sinks and toilets, and the property’s landscape irrigation system includes a central shut-off valve and moisture sensor, to minimize water use. Highland Terrace was also certified under the Energy Star program, based on its reduction of electricity usage and efficient mechanical systems.
- Indoor Air Quality: During construction, all ducts and vents were sealed to minimize dirt, dust, or other contamination that could enter them. Bathroom and kitchen exhaust systems are designed to meet high industry standards that improve air circulation, and each apartment has high-grade air filters typically used in schools and other institutional settings, to stop contaminants from entering homes. Highland Terrace has also been designed without any fireplaces in apartments and without a parking garage – both of which are common sources of lower air quality. (Parking is available to residents in a surface lot, adjacent to the building.)
- Education and Operations: As part of developing Highland Terrace, TND will work with the property manager, Winn Residential, and the property’s residents to continue our commitment to green living. This will include training 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 the Box District neighborhood. For more information about LEED, please visit the U.S. Green Building Council’s website: http://www.usgbc.org/