USGBC NCR Names Tower Companies' Blair Towns 2012 LEED EB Project Of The Year

Jul 25, 2012, 08:45 ET from The Tower Companies

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tower Companies announced today that they are the recipient of the National Capital Region chapter of the US Green Building Council's 2012 Awards of Excellence for Project of the Year for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance for Blair Towns, the first LEED certified multi-family apartments in the country in January 2004.  Blair Towns became the world's first ever multi-family residential LEED EBOM 2009 Platinum certified project when it achieve 81 points in 2011.  Tower's Chief Sustainability Officer David Borchardt and project consultants, Sustainable Design Consulting (SDC), led the effort.

"Blair Towns has been a pioneering project from the start. The 2012 Awards of Excellence judges consistently cited the complexity of achieving LEED EBOM Platinum in a residential setting, and being the first to do so since no adaptation existed. We are pleased to give this year's award to a project and company that continues to test the bounds of what's possible," stated Emily Zimmerman, Executive Director, USGBC NCR.

Blair Towns is a 78-unit multi-family apartment building on a 27-acre eco-progressive live-work-play community located on a mixed-use urban campus in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, that was an infill and previously developed site. The mixed-use development campus is collectively known as The Blairs.  

Blair Towns had previously achieved LEED Certification under New Construction, and was able to achieve Platinum from the Sustainable Sites credit and Alternative Commuting Transportation by doing a transportation survey. The survey data collected and calculations showed that there was a 75% reduction in the number of conventional commuting round trips for regular building occupants in Blair Towns.  Tower surveyed 80% of building occupants.  Alternative transportation (non-conventional) included trips to and from work that were completed by taking public transportation (bus/metro), biking, walking, working from home, or using a qualified fuel-efficient vehicle.  In addition, Tower received 11 credits towards Platinum from the Energy & Atmosphere credit 1 – Optimize Energy Efficiency Performance.   Although existing residential buildings are not eligible to receive an Energy Star Score using Portfolio Manager, the energy intensity measurement can be used.  Using the energy intensity measurement, Tower determined that Blairs Towns' energy performance is 32% above the National average.   

Furthermore, Blair Towns achieved 6 points towards Platinum from the Water Efficiency credit and additional Indoor Plumbing Fixture and Fitting Efficiency.  A water use performance calculation determined that the water efficient fixtures installed at Blair Towns offers a reduction in water usage by over 33%, as compared to the baseline provided in LEED EBOM.

Blair Towns maintains a continual Retro-Commissioning program to ensure that all building systems are operating as designed.

Contact:  Elizabeth Oliver-Farrow/The Oliver Group, Inc.,

SOURCE The Tower Companies