Eco-apts: Ground broken on city's first 'green' apartment building
Demolition began Tuesday, June 8 at a 1960s-era, five-unit apartment building located near the Corner district and owned by developers Jim and Cynthia Stultz of CBS Rentals, who plan on replacing it with Charlottesville’s “greenest” apartment building, aptly named The Greenhouse. Daggett & Grigg Architects have the design honors, and Martin Horn will do the dirty work, tearing down 219 14th Street NW and creating Charlottesville's first LEED-certified apartment building, expected to be finished in August 2011.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is an initiative created by the U.S. Green Building Council to develop standards for sustainable design and construction.
The 40,000 square-foot structure will have four stories, a basement, and on-site parking, including some underground. Most of the 28 apartments will be three-bedrooms, but there will also be a mixture of one- and four-bedroom units. Each unit will have its own balcony.
As for the green stuff, one of the most interesting things they’ll be doing is recycling 90 percent of the old building’s materials for use on the new one. In addition, 75 percent of the construction materials used on the project will be locally harvested or manufactured within 500 miles.
To reduce the urban heat island effect, the building will also have durable white rubber covering its projecting roof, whose metal will be 100 percent recycled. Solar panels will power hallway and stairway lights. Hardieplank, a non-toxic cement-based siding will cover the building, parking areas will feature permeable pavement to allow for better rain run-off while preserving water quality, woven bamboo flooring will cover the living rooms and hallways, and bathrooms will be equipped with water-saving low-flow faucets and shower heads and 1.2-gallon flush toilets. There will even be special electrical outlets around the garage to charge electric cars.
“As a general contractor, Martin Horn believes that sustainable building practices are important, and we believe in walking the talk,” says Jack Horn, who will serve as project manager.
Martin Horn is no stranger to LEED projects, having built the LEED-certified Peabody School, Charlottesville’s first LEED project for new construction, as well as UVA’s first LEED project for new construction, the Printing and Copying Services facility. The company also built the new Jefferson Scholars Foundation Center for Graduate Studies on Murray Avenue, which aims to get LEED-Gold certification.
This isn’t the first time this developer, designer, builder have teamed up. The 50-unit Barringer, a luxury condo building located across from the UVA hospital boasting a two-level parking structure came courtesy of the trio. (And, last September, Martin Horn broke ground on a Daggett & Grigg-designed fraternity house–- the first new one in over 50 years–- when heavy machinery made mince meat of a 1950s-era apartment building near Mad Bowl).
“My wife and I are concerned about the environment and sincerely feel we all should do our part to help sustain our resources,” says Jim Stultz. “It is our way of making a difference and doing our part to make people aware of our fragile environment.”
Of course, Stultz is also a businessman and believes this is what the rental market is looking for.
“If it’s as successful as we feel it will be, then it will cause other builders to build environmentally correct projects,” says Stultz. “The success of our project will have shown them what the market wants and they can either build in a LEED way or get left behind.”
The apartments will rent from $2,800 to $3,000 per month, says Stultz, or about $700 to $750 per bedroom. Nearby student-oriented apartment projects such as GrandMarc, The Pointe, The V, Camden, and Wertland Square rent in this price range, he says.
“The Cost of a LEED project is about five percent more to build than a conventional project,” he says. “We feel that the savings to the tenant, up to twenty-five percent in energy, ten to twenty percent in water, and a fifteen percent in maintenance, will more than make up for this increase.”