| || |
|Vital Stats |
|Location: Seattle |
|Star Level: 4-Star |
|Checklist: Multifamily |
|Verifier: Chris Edlin, |
O'Brien & Company
|Section ||Points |
|Site and Water ||151 |
|Energy Efficiency ||95 |
|Indoor Air Quality ||98 |
|Material Efficiency ||80 |
|Total Score ||424 |
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The Sophie Studios, built by Meridian Builders, Inc., is a 4-Star Built Green property located just blocks from the University of Washington's main entrance. This 42-unit housing project has become a community in and of itself, providing individual space coupled with common space to create an efficient use of space, materials and energy. The end-result, a successful 4-Star Built Green certification, was achieved as well as a healthy, affordable place to live and learn.
Site and Water
The Sophie achieved a 0.60 Green Factor, above the 0.50 city of Seattle requirement. All plantings are drought tolerant and no turf is used on the project. The roof water is collected into a bio-retention planter at the front of the building that can handle typical rain events, rather than sending stormwater through the sewer system.
Water conservation is achieved through better than WaterSense flow and flush fixtures. And, by the CEE Tier III clothes washers.
Heat-island effects are mitigated through a high-albedo roofing material on 100 percent of the roof.
The project location is within blocks of the University of Washington and numerous amenities and services are available on University Way and in University Village and local and regional bussing service. All of this is within easy access by foot or bike. For a cost-conscious student, this aligns with a car-free lifestyle.
The predicted annual energy performance rating for The Sophie Studios project is 26.1-percent better than the Built Green baseline. Initial analysis of the first fall and winter of operation at full capacity indicates better than this estimate.
Energy performance was accomplished through:
- Conservative window-to-wall ratio (WWR) and U-0.26 windows
- Roof truss energy heels and R-49 insulation in roof
- Intermediate framing in the walls
- Efficient lighting design and lamps, including reduction in lighting power densities in all areas of the building and Energy Star fixtures;
- Central, high efficiency domestic hot-water system - four 97-percent efficient, instantaneous condensing natural gas domestic hot water heaters
- Better-than-WaterSense required flow fixtures
- Whole-house ventilation system with Energy Star fans designed for flows sized within 50 percent of ASHRAE 62.2 minimums for proper ventilation rates with indoor air quality and energy in mind. This system, together with good air sealing, allows for more effective ventilation, which transfers to less corridor ventilation needed.
- Energy Star compact refrigerators in each unit
- Common kitchen and laundry
- Scrutinized air sealing and insulation installation to create a more efficient, durable envelope
Building capacity with the team and in-field verification for Built Green certification led to identify issues with air-sealing and insulation installation that were remedied and carried through construction with education of the installers. Also, discussions with the general contractor and framer on how the framing could be changed to provide easy access to insulation install was beneficial to a neighboring sister project.
Indoor Air Quality
A number of strategies were employed to create a healthy living space for a mostly student population. Properly sized, highly efficient fans provide individual, continuous and quiet (low-sone) unit ventilation. This leads to better IAQ within the space and in the end, a more durable structure. Low-VOC paints and construction adhesives, GreenGuard Gold batt insulation, no carpet in units and flooring products meeting both Green Label Plus and FloorScore certifications. These products reduce the source of indoor pollutants from off-gassing building materials.
The previous structure was lent to the Seattle Fire Department for training and over two tons of material was salvaged from the structure by The Re-Store, prior to demolition. The unit density of this project leads to a decrease in materials and overall resource impact compared to a typical building with the same number of units. Cabinets and windows were produced regionally. All lumber is sourced from within 500 miles of the site.
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