News Brief

Milwaukee Affordable Housing Project First to Achieve LEED-ND Silver

Two Wisconsin public housing projects achieved LEED on a budget, and one is the first completed project to achieve LEED Silver in Neighborhood Development.

Westlawn Gardens features a community garden and a more walkable site plan.

Source: Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee

The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee is celebrating LEED certification for two of its recent affordable housing projects—Westlawn Gardens, a neighborhood redevelopment project previously situated in a distressed neighborhood, and Olga Village, an apartment complex for seniors.

The Westlawn Gardens project, which is the first ever to achieve Silver in LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) Stage 3 (completed—not just planned), accommodates 300 residents through a mixture of multifamily buildings, townhomes and single-family homes. Notably, one block contains 14 “healthy homes” with interior finishes and exterior landscaping designed to reduce exposure to allergens for people with asthma or allergies. A ground-source heat-exchange system serves the apartment buildings, and the whole neighborhood has access to a community garden.

Olga Village, which achieved LEED Silver in New Construction, targeted energy use by utilizing ground-source heat pumps that connect to a 300-foot-deep water loop. The system is anticipated to achieve a 62% decrease in the energy needed for heating and cooling compared to a conventional building. Condensing gas boilers are estimated to cut energy use for domestic hot water by 63%.

According to Ricardo Diaz, executive director of the United Community Center, which is attached to Olga Village, “These kinds of projects are at the tip of a future wave for affordable housing and an improved quality of life in Milwaukee’s neighborhoods.”


Published May 5, 2014

Pearson, C. (2014, May 5). Milwaukee Affordable Housing Project First to Achieve LEED-ND Silver. Retrieved from

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