Our newly-constructed Blue Hibiscus project is seeking LEED Platinum Certification for environmental sustainability.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), “LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.”
Some of the sustainable attributes of Blue Hibiscus include landscaping elements with drought tolerant, non-invasive plants, and no use of turf grass. Coupled with these elements, a high efficiency irrigation system delivers water to the plants. The use of drought-tolerant plants and reduced turf grass is critical in conserving potable water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Adding to this water conservation effort, high efficiency plumbing fixtures and washing machines have been installed to further reduce the demand on the water supply – an increasingly critical feature in drought-prone California.
The air conditioning system is well engineered and uses very high efficiency equipment that has been third-party verified. Both high efficiency lighting and appliances have been installed in the dwelling units. These elements contribute to a reduction in energy use for each unit. There is a solar thermal system on the roof that pre-heats the domestic hot water for a large energy savings over a standard hot water system. These features should result in lower utility bills, while also promoting sustainability.
Materials, paints, and adhesives have been chosen with greatly reduced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to help keep the air within the dwelling units healthier to breathe. The waste from the project was carefully managed through the use of accurate ordering and waste recycling practices.
In addition to using materials that off-gas less VOCs, the ventilation system of each unit is designed to ensure that an adequate amount of fresh air is brought in and stale air is exhausted out. Each unit has been flushed out with fresh air for 48 hours after the completion of construction.
The project is a transit-oriented development (TOD), located one and a half blocks from a transit-rich intersection with several local and express bus lines in a highly walkable neighborhood with outstanding community resources all within a quarter of a mile. This promotes healthy habits and reduces the use of automobiles.
For more information, visit the LEED website: https://new.usgbc.org/leed