The US Green Building Council has officially awarded the second highest LEED rating to a housing project for senior citizens in Charlotte City during a gathering at Cherry Gardens.
Attending the ceremony at Cherry Gardens atrium with 50 others, USGBC Charlotte chapter executive director Emily Scofield personally presented the LEED gold certification for outstanding achievement in sustainable design and construction.
The USGBC has previously awarded a separate green building for senior citizens in San Diego, the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center worth $2.4 million standing on the 17,460-square-foot land area that used to be an auto dealership building.
The Charlotte City senior housing project is the first in North Carolina to obtain gold LEED certification.
Guests to the gathering, which included project developers Stoney Sellers of StoneHunt LLC, and Jimmy Royster of The Affordable Housing Group, emphasized human health and well-being as part of the focus of the LEED program.
Royster was quoted as saying that quality indoor air is important especially for low income individuals who are more susceptible to respiratory problems.
During the launch of its new green building rating system for LEED for Healthcare, the USGBC cited a research indicating a trend of faster healing among patients admitted in ‘green’ facilities that include “a healthy indoor environmental quality.”
The housing project uses construction materials that have low volatile organic compounds (VOC). The designers also took into consideration lesser smoke in the vicinity and the use of sophisticated ventilation system to provide quality indoor air for the individuals occupying 42 apartment units in the three-story building.
Being an affordable housing project, Cherry Gardens prioritizes energy and water efficiency to keep costs of utilities at a minimum since they are being paid by the occupants.
Other green features of the housing project include Energy Star appliances and lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures.
Paul Woollard, Executive Director of The Affordable Housing Group, estimated the savings in energy to be at 40% over the other units of this type that have no energy saving features in place. Woollard plans to collect and analyze the actual amount of energy used for the housing project.