News Brief

Nation's First LEED Platinum Affordable Housing Built in Massachusetts

Four of the 1,200-ft2 (110-m2), two-bedroom homes at Jenney Way on Martha’s Vineyard have earned LEED Platinum, the first single-family affordable houses to do so.

Photo: Randi Baird

On Martha’s Vineyard, an island where affordable housing is in short supply, nine single-family, detached, green homes were recently developed and funded by the Island Affordable Housing Fund and sold for 25%–50% of the median home sale price on the island; one additional home in the cluster was sold at the market rate.

The homes, collectively known as Jenney Way, were designed and built by South Mountain Company with green strategies, including white cedar siding certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards, high-performance windows tuned to building orientation, and tankless water heaters. Because of high insulation levels and air-sealing, heating costs for the homes are expected to be 60% below those of comparable houses built to code, allowing use of high-efficiency, direct-vent space heaters instead of central heating systems.

The project team faced a choice between preserving trees on the site and providing solar access for all of the homes, and decided to preserve trees and put a 1.5-kilowatt photovoltaic array on just four homes. These four homes achieved Platinum ratings in the LEED for Homes program, the first single-family affordable housing units to do so.

Published June 27, 2008

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