KCDC's The Residences at Eastport Awarded LEED Platinum Certification

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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KCDC's The Residences at Eastport Awarded LEED Platinum Certification

Posted: 08/03/2012
Knoxville's Community Development Corporation (KCDC) announced today its newest property, the Residences at Eastport, has been awarded LEED Platinum certification for its achievement in green homebuilding and design by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED Platinum certification is the highest level of USGBC certification.

"This award affirms KCDC's commitment to green building practices and to staying on the cutting-edge of affordable housing," said Alvin Nance, executive director and CEO of KCDC. "The health and well-being of our residents is our utmost priority. This environmentally-conscious property will not only create a healthier living environment for our residents, it will decrease long-term maintenance costs and provide cost savings through energy and water conservation."

KCDC staff, elected officials and project partners gathered at the Residences at Eastport on Friday, August 3 for a award ceremony celebrating the LEED Platinum certification of the property. Front row, left to right: Denark Construction Vice President Steve Lucas, Partners Development Vice President Orlando Diaz, Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, KCDC Commission Vice Chair David Hutchins, KCDC COO Art Cate, City of Knoxville Community Development Director Becky Wade and KCDC Commissioner Craig Griffith. Back row, left to right: City Councilman Finbarr Saunders, City Councilman Duane Grieve, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, BarberMcMurry Architects President Chuck Griffin, Sanders Pace Architecture's John Sanders, BarberMcMurry Architect's Matt Jordan, BarberMcMurry Architects Vice President Mike Dooley and Denark Construction Vice President Allan Cox. As KCDC's owner representative, Partners Development joined with Eastport Architects, a joint venture between BarberMcMurry Architects and Sanders Pace Architecture, to spearhead the process for LEED-certification. The rigorous qualification process for achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) began in the conceptual phase of the project's design where the LEED standards were integrated into the overall design.

The process continued into the construction phase where general contractor Denark Construction implemented the plan to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The final step in the process was the submittal of the record documents confirming the project achieved or exceeded the USGBC's standards.

"In the design process for The Residences at Eastport, our goal was to help KCDC provide high-quality affordable housing to our community," said Mike Dooley, vice president of BarberMcMurry Architects. "At the Residences at Eastport, we were able to create healthy, energy-efficient, cost-effective living for KCDC residents by designing with simplicity, functionality and accessibility."

In order to achieve LEED certification, the design and construction of the project is scored in accordance with the rigorous guidelines set forth by the USGBC, which include the use of renewable building materials; energy-efficient lighting and appliances; water conservation; high-efficiency HVAC, plumbing and irrigation systems; surface water management; and construction waste management. USGBC also requires education of residents about conserving energy and water for cost-effective and environmentally-friendly living.

"Throughout the project we kept green practices in mind taking every opportunity to improve our plans for better LEED compliance," said Alex Decker, project manager at Partners Development.

According to Steve Lucas, vice president of Denark Construction, "We were able to divert 69 percent of construction waste from landfills and use regional and environmentally-friendly building materials throughout the project. With these improvements, we were able to exceed our planned level of certification."

The Residences at Eastport is an 85-unit complex in the Five Points community, affordable and exclusively for seniors age 62 and older. Since opening in fall of 2011, the property has been fully leased.

The first phase of construction housed 25 units in the former Eastport Elementary school building, which was listed in Knox Heritage's Fragile 15 historic properties. The building retains the façade of the school constructed in 1932 and believed to be the first African American school in Five Points. According to John Sanders of Sanders Pace Architecture, "Components from the original school, such as window openings, corridors and walls, were repurposed and improved to achieve the high performance required by LEED for Homes."

A second phase of new construction incorporated the school's unique design features into four single-story buildings housing an additional 60 units. The enclosed layout of the five buildings around landscaped courtyards allows for a compact, efficient development footprint. All five buildings of the Residences at Eastport achieved the LEED Platinum certification.

This is the second recognition for green building the Residences at Eastport received. In April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recognized the project as a Region IV Signature Project for the Sustainable Communities Initiative. This honor set up the project as a model for housing authorities and affordable housing projects throughout Tennessee and the South.

KCDC enlisted Partners Development, Eastport Architects and Denark Construction to help develop The Residences at Eastport project. Financial partners included the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, SunTrust Bank, First Tennessee, HUD's ARRA competitive grant program and the City of Knoxville's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC's mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, call 865-403-1100 or visit http://www.kcdc.org.