USGBC Awards Crescent Heights LEED® Platinum Certification: The Highest LEED® Rated Multi-Family Building in Maine
In 2010, Crescent Heights was awarded LEED Platinum certification by USGBC for its achievement in green building and design. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green certification program that rewards buildings that are designed and built to be energy- and resource-efficient and more healthy and durable for the occupants. Platinum is the highest rating, and Crescent Heights is the first multi-family building in Maine to achieve the distinction.
We feel it is important that we take the opportunity to push the envelope of green building achievement in Maine in order to provide our residents with a healthy building. The fact that our residents are themselves members of the health care community only underlines this basic principle.
From our point of view, there’s no better way to raise awareness of the issues of indoor air quality, sustainable building materials, and reduced carbon footprint than by demonstrating the possibilities to future leaders in the medical field. We also understand the positive impact a high quality, high performance green apartment building can have on our residents personally and our community generally.
“As a Platinum LEED-certified building, Crescent Heights serves as a model of greener living for the entire community,” said Bill Cuddy, Vice President of Portland Builders, the construction firm that built the project. “As builders, we believe in the importance of raising industry standards to construct the highest quality buildings possible. Throughout the project, we closely worked with the owners, Fore Solutions, engineers, and architect to make sure the building completed numerous technical inspections including energy rating and onsite inspections. Portland Builders is proud to be a part of a dynamic team that constructed one of the best energy and water efficient, environmentally sound, buildings in the state of Maine.”
Crescent Heights was designed by Mark Wilcox of Winton Scott Architects of Portland, a leader in sustainable building design, Winton Scott Architects also designed Pearl Place in Portland, the first multi- family project to achieve LEED Gold, and previously the highest-rated such building in the state.
Jay Waterman, Senior Project Manager of Fore Solutions, the LEED consultant for Crescent Heights, said, “Fore Solutions joined a top-notch team to help incorporate green features into Crescent Heights. Developers Collaborative was willing to push the envelope and be innovative to reduce environmental impact as well as utility costs while creating healthy housing for these medical residents. We are very pleased with the outcome of this unique project.”
Crescent Heights was designed and built according to measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions as required by LEED Platinum standards.
Crescent Heights Apartment Suites achieved LEED Platinum Certification by:
Energy efficiency: This is the greatest sustainability achievement of the Crescent Heights. Energy modeling has shown a 43% savings on overall energy use compared to a typical apartment building built to code.
Water efficiency: Crescent Heights uses very efficient water fixtures inside the building, saving over 30% on water usage as compared to a typical building. Native and adaptive landscaping will be planted to eliminate the need for an irrigation system.
Air quality: The building will have exceptional indoor air quality bringing 100% outdoor air into the building through a heat recovery ventilation system. There is no mixing of air, only the heat is transferred, reducing fuel use and the building’s carbon footprint while giving occupants abundant fresh air.
Highly efficient panelized framing: By using efficient panelized framing, we are substantially decreasing the amount of lumber required to complete the project.
Local materials and recycled materials: Throughout the building, local lumber and sheetrock as well as recycled steel, carpeting, and other materials being used.
Exemplary performance is expected for heat island effect: 100% of the roof area will meet the standards for light colored roofing. This will help reduce the amount of heat that is trapped in our urban center.
Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): All paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, and carpeting are low-VOC. For example, the Green Label Plus carpeting is the highest quality carpet with recycled content and low VOCs.
Re-using an existing site: The amount of energy saved by NOT building roads, driveways, utilities to a suburban or rural location but instead using an under utilized lot in downtown Portland, is immense.
The building will be a smoke-free community.
beyond the idea of "green buildings," Crescent Heights project also embodies the larger concept of of Smart Growth by:
Creating Range of Housing Opportunities and Choices: By providing medical students a viable option for short-term leasing; Crescent Heights also preserves the existing rental stock in the West End of Portland.
Creating a Walkable Neighborhood: Cars will be optional for residents as apartment suites are next door to Maine Medical Center (MMC) and all the amenities; downtown Portland is within walking distance.
Providing a Variety of Transportation Choices: Public transportation that surrounds Crescent Heights provides over 250 stops at locations within a half mile of Crescent Heights.
Less Impact on the Neighborhood: By capturing the demand for short-term leasing, which would otherwise be dispersed throughout neighborhood; current traffic flow and off-street parking demands should not be impacted by the increase of medical students and residents in the area.