LEED ND: Project v2009
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
LEED Gold 2012
Most importantly, the sense of place and of ownership that did not exist is now coming about because of our LEED efforts, because of the farm, the new homes and the network of partnerships we have built. It sets the tone for members of the community to look at this as a fresh start and a bright future
Northwest Gardens (NWG) is a transit-rich affordable housing development adjacent to downtown Fort Lauderdale. The location of the NWG neighborhood is ideal for the LEED-ND program as an infill site in an urban area being redeveloped into mixed income multi-family housing. The community boasted sufficient density in an open, gridded street network in compact blocks within walking distance to mass transit. The project contains 394 dwelling units located in 44 multi-family buildings in addition to several retail and office buildings. Improvements were made to the existing street network and utility infrastructure, along with pocket parks and a series of community gardens and pedestrian connections. Northwest Gardens was the first project in the Southeast United States to have its plan pre-certified under the LEED for Neighborhood Development v2009 rating system at the Gold level.
In December of 2010, Jonathan Burgess -- a LEED Project Manager with The Spinnaker Group and the first person in South Florida to earn the LEED for Neighborhood Development specialty accreditation -- was given a tour of the existing Northwest Gardens neighborhood by the Director of Development for the Housing Authority for the City of Fort Lauderdale. It was clear that the location of the NWG neighborhood was ideal for the LEED-ND program. The community boasted sufficient density in an open, gridded street network in compact blocks within walking distance to mass transit. Some preliminary renovation work had already begun, with several existing buildings gutted and undergoing renovations. Since construction had begun on phase I, with phases II-IV still undergoing schematic design, the project team decided to incorporate the LEED-ND components into the design and pursue the pre-certified plan designation.
The Housing Authority for the City of Fort Lauderdale (HACFL) welcomed the idea of using LEED-ND as a tool and engaged their development partner Carlisle Development Group to further improve the community and expanded their programs to install energy efficient street lighting, community gardens, fruit trees, bioswales and additional walking paths throughout the community. Each of the homes is pursuing LEED for Homes Certification for improvements in energy use, water consumption and indoor air quality. For their efforts, Northwest Gardens was the 1st in the State of Florida and 3rd in the United States to receive the LEED for Neighborhood Development plan certification. More importantly, it has already started to transform the community and its residents.