Southtown Square is located in the heart of the Madison Square neighborhood and is pursuing LEED certification. LEED is a designation of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) that stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. An important first step in the process is the choice to build green and promote a more sustainable lifestyle for the occupants of a building. LINC and their partners made this choice for this building, the residents, and the community.
The USGBC created the LEED rating systems to support the choice to build green and to provide third party certification for the green building initiatives professionals incorporate in the design and construction of buildings. Southtown Square is registered under Green Building Design and Construction, specifically LEED for New Construction and Major Renovation. We anticipate a Silver level certification.
This designation identifies buildings that have taken a leadership role in implementing green building strategies. Green building strategies help protect the health of our natural ecosystems and preserve natural resources. Building green also means that the health of people is protected within the ecosystem and within the building. Indoor Air quality is protected during and after construction, so people can breathe easily. An energy saving heating and cooling system means less is spent on utility bills. And the location of the building with access to public transportation and a variety of services improves the quality of life for all who call this green building home.
So, how does Southtown Square align with the LEED rating system? First, it is important to know that the LEED rating systems are organized into categories and each category includes credits that are worth a varying amount of points. The point total determines the level of the certification. Below are the categories with the credits and a description of each credit that has been achieved by your new home.
Sustainable Sites (SS):
Where the building is located matters
SSc1 Site Selection:
The project meets requirements for responsible land use.
SSc2 Development Density and Community Connectivity:
Living in an urban environment offers many benefits and opportunities. You can bike to a café for lunch, stroll through the local shops, or meet a friend for a show downtown. Many of these activities are just a few steps or a short bus or bicycle ride away.
SSc4.1 Alternative Transportation-Public Transportation Access:
Two bus routes are available within one-quarter-mile walking distance from the project.
SSc4.4 Alternative Transportation-Parking:
The parking added for this project does not exceed zoning minimums, a reserved low emitting car parking space in a preferred location has been provided and ride share opportunities can be found on the bulletin board in the lobby.
Additionally, a reserved low-emitting and carpool/vanpool parking space in a preferred location in the commercial parking lot has been provided for use by the patrons of the businesses located on the first floor. The Carpool Parking space is a preferred space that is reserved for vehicles with two or more occupants.
SSc7.1 Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof :
The paving in the parking areas and walkways is constructed of concrete. This decision was made, not only to provide a visually pleasing environment and durability, but also to reduce heat island effect.
SSc7.2 Heat Island Effect, Roof:
The roofing material used on the project is white, which further reduces the heat island effect.
Heat island effect is the absorption of heat by dark, non-reflective pavement and building components. The heat radiates into the surroundings and artificially raises the temperature by 2 - 10 degrees F compared to undeveloped areas. The light colored concrete and white roof reduces this effect.
Water Efficiency (WE):
Water efficient fixtures save our water resource That's important because all the water we have, is all the water we're ever going to have.
WEc1 Water Efficient Landscaping:
The landscape has been designed to eliminate the need for an irrigation system, which saves 100% of the water used to irrigate a typical landscape design.
WEc3 Water Use Reduction:
Most of the toilets in the building use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush and the lavatory faucets use 0.5 gallons of water per minute. Low flow kitchen sink faucets and shower heads have also been installed. Together the plumbing fixtures save 46.2% of the potable water used compared to typical plumbing fixtures.
Energy and Atmosphere (EA):
Saving energy on heating and cooling EAp1 Fundamental Commissioning A third party quality control check has been performed to assure that heating, cooling, and electrical equipment is installed properly and functions correctly.
EAc1 Optimize Energy Performance:
Overall energy savings for the building due to design and construction equals 58.9% compared to a standard building of this type. That saves about 22.22% of the typical cost of heating and cooling, saves non-renewable resources, and lessens air pollution.
Materials and Resources (MR):
Saving virgin raw materials MRp1 Storage and Collection of Recyclables A commingled waste collection is available and storage of recyclables can be accommodated in the apartment units and in a storage room on the first floor.
MRc2 Construction Waste Management:
79.15% of the construction waste was recycled instead of being sent to a landfill. Making products from recyclable waste saves on the use of virgin raw materials and reduces the environmental impacts associated with resource extraction, processing, and transportation. The diversion of waste from landfills avoids the need for expansion or new landfill sites.
MRc4 Recycled Content and MRc5 Regional Materials:
Materials used on the project contain 21.85% recycled content. Additionally, 23.76% of the materials used were manufactured and the raw materials extracted within 500 miles of the project site. Both of these strategies help reduce the many impacts that material use has on the environment. As mentioned in Construction Waste Management, recycled content saves on the use of virgin raw materials. Using regionally sourced materials supports local economies and reduces energy impacts associated with transportation to the project site.
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ):
Providing clean air (it's all about people)
IEQp2 Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Control:
The LEED rating systems include prerequisites along with credits. This is a prerequisite; you can tell by the "p" in the name. Prerequisites are required for all LEED projects. To protect the quality of the indoor air, smoking is not allowed in your apartment or in any other area of the building.
You may think that air quality does not have a significant impact on your health. The average adult breathes around 30,000 times per day. Each time, your body absorbs elements and filters out particles from the air you take in. Fumes, cigarette smoke, and dust all enter our body each time we breathe. You can breathe easy in your smoke-free environment.
IEQc3.1 Construction IAQ Management Plan:
An Indoor Air Quality management plan was developed and implemented to protect the air quality during construction. The strategies included keeping air handling units turned off, protecting the duct work from contamination, controlling the source of potential contaminants, blocking pathways that could allow for cross contamination, cleaning the site throughout construction, and the delivery and sequencing of material installation was done so as to protect any contamination.
IEQc4.1, 4.2, 4.3, & 4.4 Low-Emitting Materials:
Adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, and flooring systems This collection of credits means that adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, and flooring systems used in the building will not off gas chemicals into the air that you breathe. This protects the health of all the people who constructed the building and will continue to protect the health of all the occupants of the building.
Innovation in Design (ID):
Beyond the standard requirements
IDc1.1 Reduce Mercury in Lamps:
The light bulbs installed in the project have a low mercury content, which helps protect our environment from mercury contamination should any mercury containing bulbs be disposed of improperly.
IDc1.2 Exemplary Performance for SSc7.1 Heat Island, Non-Roof:
Because the project used low reflective material for 100% of the hardscape (parking and walking paths), an extra credit like point is earned that is called exemplary performance. This type of credit acknowledges strategies that go above and beyond the standard requirement for LEED.
IDc1.3 Green Building Education:
The creation and use of a resident manual along with this web page with project information allow for the earning of this credit.
IDc2 LEED® Accredited Professional:
At least one professional knowledgeable about LEED with a LEED AP accreditation worked on this project to guide the process and to earn this credit.