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Crossroads is Creating Affordable and Green Homes

North Kingstown, RI (May 6, 2011) “The communities we build today must meet our state’s and residents’ needs of tomorrow,” says Anne Nolan, President of Crossroads Rhode Island. “And that means developing properties that maintain and protect our environment, are attractive for those who live there as well as their neighbors, and are affordable to Rhode Island working families.”

That sounds like a huge nut to crack but in fact, the Kingstown Crossings apartments were designed and re-developed by Crossroads Rhode Island and KITE Architects to accomplish all three goals and is on track for LEED certification once finished. The community of the future features a lovely, village-like design that utilizes environment-saving technology– which helps residents save money, while occupying the same amount of land as the buildings being replaced.

“LEED for Homes” is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. Green homes use less energy, water and natural resources, create less waste, and are more durable and comfortable for occupants.

“Rhode Island has so much to offer in terms of its beauty and environment. Yet the numbers of those who are without homes they can afford is growing,” adds Nolan. “We are proud to be able to create sustainable homes that are also affordable. This is a win-win. These beautiful homes are indeed the centerpiece of communities of the future, with walkable conveniences and schools, energy efficient systems, all the while maintaining natural, wooded surroundings and landscape.”

The development features a central pedestrian pathway, which will minimize the use of cars and eliminate drive-through traffic, making the area safer for children and families, as well as being walker- and cyclist-friendly.

Five percent of the new apartments are also designed specifically for those with disabilities and all units will feature “green” technology including energy-efficient appliances, heating systems, window systems, and insulation.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held May 20, 2011.

Kingstown Crossings LEED for Homes Details

KITE Architects worked with Crossroads RI to design Kingstown Crossings in North Kingstown with many features across the spectrum of sustainability. A feature of the LEED for Homes program is that special focus is given to tenant training as well as ongoing building maintenance. Also, special durability inspections during construction ensure that all trades are building to high standards to ensure a long life of the building. Green features include:

Location and Linkages:

-         The site has been previously developed – no farmland is used, and the site uses existing infrastructure such as power, natural gas, and sewers

-         The apartments are located on a major bus line, enabling residents to get to work without a car

-         There are stores, schools, and parks within walking distance

-         Safe, ample play space and a continuous pedestrian path is provided on-site

-         Use of local materials is encouraged and documented

Sustainable Sites:

-         The site will be re-graded to filter most stormwater on-site with natural rain gardens, instead of flowing to Narragansett Bay and overloading storm sewers

-         Most of the existing mature trees on-site will be protected during construction

Water Efficiency:

-         Low flow toilets, sinks, and showers save water

-         Landscape plantings are native and drought resistant, so no irrigation system is needed 

Energy & Atmosphere:

-         Homes are participating in the Energy Star Homes program

-         A high level of insulation and a compact form mean that the buildings’ score for efficiency – the HERS Index – will make the apartments 39% more efficient than required by code. This translates to hundreds of dollars of savings on each tenant’s utility bills.

-         A high efficiency boiler (85% AFUE) in each unit will provide both heat and hot water

-         All appliances are Energy Star compliant

-         A programmable thermostat in each unit allows daytime temperatures to be lower while the residents are at work or school.

-         Kitchens and bathrooms are located very close to the hot water heater, minimizing heat loss through the piping

-         Ducted kitchen and bath exhaust fans ensure ample ventilation

-         Large operable windows and ceiling fans allow residents to keep cool without an air conditioner

-         Individually metered natural gas and electrical bills encourage personal responsibility for energy use

Materials and Resources:

-         Flooring material is made from locally extracted and manufactured materials

-         Pests such as termites are kept from damaging the structure with the use of metal shields at the foundation, using screens at all large openings, and caulking every joint tightly.

-         No tropical hardwoods such as mahogany are used anywhere on site.

-         The contractor has recycling as much construction waste as possible, has diverted over 80% so far from landfills

-         Lumber cuts will be planned in advance to make sure not more than 10% of lumber ends up as scrap.

Indoor Environmental Quality:

-         Hard surface flooring is used throughout, reducing indoor air quality problems associated with carpet

-         The apartments will be flushed with fresh air to reduce any off-gassing prior to move-in of each unit

-         Radon release measures including vent piping under the concrete slabs reduce the risk of radon.

-         Doors made from recycled fibers are solid-core and long lasting

-         Low-VOC paints and sealants are used

Awareness and Education:

-         Onsite operations manager ensures proper maintenance

-         Orientation & procedural overview and tours given prior to tenant move in.

More information about the LEED-Homes program may be found at http://www.usgbc.org

 



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