In: Member Broadcasts
Updated 11 Jun 2012
How we live is a big part of the problem. It can also be a big part of the solution, if we adopt more environmentally sustainable lifestyles. That means exercising more care, or stewardship in our use of Earth’s finite resources (water, energy, minerals for example) to ensure that there will be enough left for our children and grandchildren.
Building environmentally sound, sustainable homes was once perceived as quaint but an impractical idea for builders in terms of time and money needed to implement on a large scale. Today however, more builders seem to be getting the point that environmentally friendly, or “green” building, isn’t just appealing to a fringe element of the population, but in fact are simply better built homes. They are better constructed, more energy efficient, less susceptible to mold and moisture issues, and can have a very traditional look and design. These qualities can appeal to a wide range of buyers.
This is one of the reasons why Audubon Lifestyles created the Audubon Lifestyles Home Programs, and why it was decided that the program should be created for all types of homes, including multifamily homes.
Building upon an ethic of creating affordable opportunities for individual households and entire neighborhoods, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership (CMHP) desired to expand and incorporate sustainability into the newly planned Double Oaks Neighborhood Development. In doing so, The Housing Partnership joined the Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Development Program in the fall of 2008.
As part of the Sustainable Development Program efforts the CMHP has recently achieved Certification in the Audubon Multifamily Home Program for The Alexander and the associated Daycare Center.
The Alexander is a 96 unit multifamily apartment community fronting Statesville Avenue in the Double Oaks Neighborhood. The development is part of a new master plan layout that incorporates a new daycare facility and the creation of a new connecting road called Moretz Avenue. The development has forty eight two-bedroom apartments with approximately 931 gross square feet, and 48 three-bedroom apartments with 1,159 gross square feet.
The site of the development is minutes from downtown Charlotte and the residents benefit from surrounding nearby amenities including public schools, parks, libraries, health services and public transportation. In addition the residents benefit from swimming pools, community centers, restaurants and a number of places of worship. There is also an abundance of supportive service facilities available to tenants within a two-mile radius.
The Alexander has been constructed with Audubon Lifestyles Home designation guidelines on a 3.85 acre site. Site amenities include playground area, covered picnic area with tables and chairs. There is also a clubhouse/leasing office with a community room, a gym and a small computer center with high speed internet access.
During demolition of existing dilapidated single story housing structures, Double Oaks was left with a significant amount of foundation slabs, crawl spaces, concrete sidewalks and abandoned asphalt roadways and parking areas. In an effort to minimize this construction waste going to landfills, CMHP enrolled in a recycling effort to grind the material into gravel-that was used as subsurface compaction material for new roadways and parking areas. The Alexander was able to benefit from this recycled material program.
The recycling of materials was performed by the general contractor, Cox and Shepp on site. The task consisted of jack hammering the material with a drilling truck and placing it on a conveyor belt that delivered material to a crushing machine. After this process, another conveyor belt delivered the final gravel-like material ready to be re-used. CMHP recycled approximately 29,000 tons of material with much more available for recycling in the near future.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc. (The Housing Partnership) provides a comprehensive range of affordable housing services focused on revitalization, education, and development. The Housing Partnership has led the revitalization of several inner-city neighborhoods. Through its Homeownership Center of Charlotte, the organization has counseled more than 12,000 families and created 1,289 homeowners. The affordable multifamily and senior rental housing development efforts have created nearly 2,000 units of quality, well-managed units throughout Charlotte.
The Audubon Lifestyles Home Program promotes homes that are designed and built to provide homeowners with comfortable, durable, environmentally friendly homes that are cost-effective to own and operate. These resource-efficient homes are crafted to exceed building codes and provide homeowners with years of healthy, quality living, while protecting the environment.
Participating in, and receiving Certification as an Audubon Lifestyles Home is a fun and educational process. It pays big rewards to those who participate, and just makes sense economically for any new development, for new homebuyers and for home builders.