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A Mid-Rise Project: Fourth Street Family Apartments

Published on Written by Posted in LEED

The LEED for Homes Multi-Family Mid-Rise rating system (Mid-Rise) was created to address the needs of multi-family buildings taller than four stories. Like LEED for Homes, it requires inspections and diagnostic testing, such as for duct leakage and air infiltration.

Mid-Rise is currently in pilot with 38,204 units registered. Learn more »

Fourth Street Family Apartments

Recently awarded LEED for Homes Multi-Family Mid-Rise Platinum certification, Fourth Street Family Apartments provides 100 affordable apartments for families in the Silicon Valley.

The first two floors of this nine-story, concrete and steel building contain management offices and naturally vented parking. The next seven floors of residential units are laid out in a southern facing U-shape. The project was granted special permission as part of the Mid-Rise Pilot program to have over six floors of residential. Building features include:

  • non-toxic, no-VOC cabinets and finish work
  • cradle to cradle furniture and carpet
  • linoleum in kitchens and baths
  • Universal Design
  • all LED lighting
  • rooftop photovoltaics
  • a vegetated roof

Extensive solar studies were done during design development and led to specifically sized window overhangs on several elevations. California Title 24 was exceeded by 28%.

The vegetated roof and other water conservation features were significant in achieving LEED platinum and are used as a model by local Watershed Planners for Low Impact Development [LID], the use of native plants and the provision of habitat. Hummingbirds are particularly fond of the green roof.

35% of the tenants are residents with developmental disabilities. Previous experience on our Gish Apartments, which earned LEED for New construction Gold and LEED for Homes Gold, illustrated that special needs tenants are particularly responsive to indoor air quality [IAQ]. Providers reported that tenants with developmental disabilities no longer had asthma symptoms and were able to stop using anti-anxiety medication. Since most of the special needs tenants don’t drive, the project received parking deductions for special needs tenants, transit proximity and the provision of transit passes.

Since First Community Housing services special needs populations in all our developments, a key feature of our projects is IAQ. For Fourth Street Family Apartments, as an Innovation Credit, we completed Chemical Avoidance Pilot Credit #11.

As a special focus on education and awareness, tenants of Fourth Street Family Apartments are provided with a tenant manual explaining green features and classes are offered in green cleaning, recycling and water conservation. Dwarf fruit trees are offered, at no cost, to tenants for use on their balconies. Additionally, they receive free, annual Eco-passes for buses and light rail in Santa Clara County.

The Project Team included: Fisher Friedman Architects, Branagh Construction, Lynn Simon & Associates, Design Ecology, Guttman and Blauvuet and First Community Housing.

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    Jeff Oberdorfer made 1 contribution in the last 6 months

Jeff Oberdorfer

Executive Director First Community Housing

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