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Eliseo: Senior Living in Tacoma (Walsh Construction)

Vital Stats



Location: Tacoma
Star Level: 4-Star
Checklist: 2017 New Construction Multifamily
Verifier: Bee Consulting, LLC
Site and Water 93
Energy Efficiency 98
Health and Indoor Air Quality 118
Material Efficiency 69
  Total Score 408

As the population continues to age rapidly the need for healthy, energy efficient senior living continues to grow. Eliseo, which provides independent or assisted living for seniors, made the decision to construct two new buildings with a total of 91 units in their existing complex located in Tacoma. These two new buildings both obtained a Built Green 4-Star certification on the 2017 new construction multifamily checklist using a variety of different green building strategies.

Walsh Construction's Eliseo apartments, exterior

During the design and permitting phases of the project, the project team engaged with the verification team to ensure the project’s success by planning and brainstorming the credits they wanted to obtain throughout the checklist and changing specs as needed to align with their goals and vision. One example was finding the right drought-tolerant grass that would blend with the pre-existing landscaping and not create a stark visual contrast. Together the whole team was able to find the right mixture!

Other credits that were claimed to obtain certification was the use of low flow plumbing fixtures to minimize water used within the building; ductless mini-splits and Energy Star appliances to keep energy costs down; and low VOC products with indoor air-quality certifications to keep tenants safe and healthy.

In addition to the above-mentioned green building features, the project also utilized a lot of water management strategies. With the help of a building envelope consultant, they applied drainage mats around the foundation, fluid-applied doors and window flashing along with back dams, taped seams on their WRB, and installed a rainscreen under their siding. All these features were able to help them to obtain low air-barrier test scores (0.154 & 0.151CFM/SF @ 75Pa) that will not only result in lower energy bills but will ensure the building stays dry throughout the years to come.

While this Built Green certification is one of the first for the City of Tacoma, there is an expectation and hope that many more will follow as buyers and residents begin to recognize the value in sustainable building – not only economically through energy reduction, but also for their health and the wellbeing of the planet.

Walsh Construction's Eliseo apartments, Bathroom
Walsh Construction's Eliseo apartments, Living Room
Walsh Construction's Eliseo apartments, Kitchen

Built Green highlights:

Site and Water

  • Low-toxic outdoor material used for landscaping
  • Environmentally friendly landscaping O&M produced
  • Drought-tolerant grass blend
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures
  • Large community spaces incorporated
  • Subsidized bus passes for senior living employees
  • EV chargers installed

Energy Efficiency

  • 0.154CFM/SF @ 75Pa air-barrier testing
  • Ductless mini splits throughout the units
  • ERV system in the building
  • High efficiency centralized gas water heater with recirculation system
  • Energy Star appliances

Health and Indoor Air Quality

  • Anti-idling and healthy jobsite practices implemented
  • Low VOC products used throughout the buildings
  • LVT with no orthophthalate plasticizers used
  • Window and doors well sealed with proper flashing and back dam systems and window testing
  • Easy access to building systems with proper water management
  • Moisture management methods beyond cod implemented (damp proofing paint, dimple drainage mat, etc.)

Materials Efficiency

  • During construction waste reduction plan created and implemented
  • Source separated recycling of drywall and batteries
  • Abundance of locally manufactured materials used
  • PEFC certified engineered lumber used for floor system
  • Recycled content carpet and natural linoleum used in the building
  • 87% recycled content acoustical tiles used in all hallways
  • 47% recycled content insulation used throughout the building
  • 95% recycled content plastic lumber decking used

Walsh Construction's Eliseo apartments, exterior

Photo Credit: Bee Consulting

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