Five of the Ten greenest buildings of 2013 chosen by the American Institute of Architects

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects : Merritt Crossing Senior Apts

3 of 6
Merritt Crossing Senior Apts

credit: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (Photo: Tim Griffith)

3 of 6

Bravo for putting this one up there. Last year I was ranting about people looking for "the greenest home in America" and I said "there are really green homes being built in America, but they are not single family, and they are not private; In many cases, government agencies and non-profits can proudly stand up and say "We built it!" (there was an election going on at the time). The summary lists the gizmo green but alludes to its really green attributes.

The roof area has a cool roof surface and is devoted to both a solar water panels and photovoltaic panels. Ground floor spaces benefit from the full height storefront system that similarly provides ample daylight and transparency to the outdoors. These windows are also thermally broken and have high performance glass. The windows are shaded in summer by either exterior sunshades or an overhang from the second floor. With no mechanical air conditioning, cooling is achieved by a low volume ventilation system augmented by ceiling fans in each habitable room. The site has a 94 walkability rating, an 82 transit rating and an 86 bike friendly rating from walkscore.com.

Eco-Building digs deeper:

Built on a former brownfield site, Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments provides critical affordable housing and on-site services to low-income seniors in downtown Oakland, Calif. The development transformed an abandoned site near a busy freeway into a community asset for disadvantaged or formerly homeless seniors while setting a high standard for sustainable and universal design.