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

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