Kingstown Crossings Apartments: LEED-Gold

North Kingstown, RI

Creating a new identity along Devil’s Foot Road, Kingstown Crossings is organized along a central pedestrian path that connects ample green space, playgrounds, and plazas with a walking and bicycle path. Designed with families as well as “green” building principles in mind, the scale and details fit the residential neighborhood.

The complete affordable housing development includes 104 apartments, management building and maintenance buildings, developed by Crossroads RI. A childcare center and community building is planned for future construction.

The project exceeds Energy Star Homes criteria, is participating in the Green Communities Initiative, and has achieved LEED certification at the Gold level – the first multi-family construction in Rhode Island to achieve the recognition.

Construction started in the summer of 2010 and was phased over a multi-year period with TRAC Builders as the general contractor. The first families moved into their new homes in February 2011.

LEED for Homes is a rating system developed by the US Green Building Council that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. Green homes use less energy, water and natural resources, create less waste, and are more durable and comfortable for occupants.Kingstown Crossings LEED for Homes Details

KITE Architects worked with Crossroads RI to design Kingstown Crossings in North Kingstown with many features across the spectrum of sustainability. A feature of the LEED for Homes program is that special focus is given to tenant training as well as ongoing building maintenance. Also, special durability inspections during construction ensure that all trades are building to high standards to ensure a long life of the building.

Green features include:

Location and Linkages:

-The site has been previously developed – no farmland is used, and the site uses existing infrastructure such as power, natural gas, and sewers

-The apartments are located on a major bus line, enabling residents to get to work without a car

-There are stores, schools, and parks within walking distance -Safe, ample play space and a continuous pedestrian path is provided on-site -Use of local materials is encouraged and documented

Sustainable Sites:

-The site was re-graded to filter most storm water on-site with natural rain gardens, instead of flowing to Narragansett Bay and overloading storm sewers

– Most of the existing mature trees on-site were protected during construction

Water Efficiency:

-Low flow toilets, sinks, and showers save water

-Landscape plantings are native and drought resistant, so no irrigation system is needed

Energy & Atmosphere:

-Homes are participating in the Energy Star Homes program

-A high level of insulation and a compact form mean that the buildings’ score for efficiency – the HERS Index – theoretically makes the apartments 39% more efficient than required by code, but actual utility bills the savings is over 50%. This translates to hundreds of dollars of savings on each tenant’s utility bills.

-A high efficiency boiler (85% AFUE) in each unit provides both heat and hot water

-All appliances are Energy Star compliant

-A programmable thermostat in each unit allows daytime temperatures to be lower while the residents are at work or school.

-Kitchens and bathrooms are located very close to the hot water heater, minimizing heat loss through the piping

-Ducted kitchen and bath exhaust fans ensure ample ventilation

-Large operable windows and ceiling fans allow residents to keep cool without an air conditioner -Individually metered natural gas and electrical bills encourage personal responsibility for energy use

Materials and Resources:

-Flooring material is made from locally extracted and manufactured materials

-Pests such as termites are kept from damaging the structure with the use of metal shields at the foundation, using screens at all large openings, and caulking every joint tightly.

-No tropical hardwoods such as mahogany are used anywhere on site.

-The contractor recycled as much construction waste as possible, and diverted over 80%  of waste from landfills

-Lumber cuts were be planned in advance to make sure not more than 10% of lumber ended up as scrap.

Indoor Environmental Quality:

-Hard surface flooring is used throughout, reducing indoor air quality problems associated with carpet

-The apartments were be flushed with fresh air to reduce any off-gassing prior to move-in of each unit

-Radon release measures including vent piping under the concrete slabs reduce the risk of radon.

-Doors made from recycled fibers are solid-core and long lasting -Low-VOC paints and sealants were used

Awareness and Education:

-Onsite operations manager ensures proper maintenance

-Orientation & procedural overview and tours given prior to tenant move in.

More information about the LEED-Homes program may be found at http://www.usgbc.org