The project was constructed in two phases. First a 48 unit PHFA and LIHTC funded
project was begun followed quickly by a 72 unit LIHTC funded project. The
unified theme of the development is Sustainability- for the site, the tenants,
the buildings, and the community. The former converted grocery store on the
100% impervious site and remnants of a buried glass factory were removed
for the new construction, restoring the site’s connection to its neighbors.
Two story porches, hip roofs and material selections related the new buildings
to the low scale mixed-use community. The buildings are sited to embrace
a community green space facing the Allegheny River and its recreation corridor.
The buildings and apartments were designed to allow the tenants to age in
place for a much longer time than is possible in other standard housing by
bringing services to them. Access to the LIFE Center services is also available
to the community at large, allowing the elderly to stay in their homes longer,
until they are ready to move. The buildings are interconnected with an open
loop geothermal system drilled into the river aquifers in order to significantly
reduce energy costs and fossil fuel reliance. Green Roofs are provided for
each building’s outdoor gathering space. The project is designated
as a 5-Star Energy Star building achieving a HERS score of 42 and is the
first open loop geothermal affordable elderly housing development in the
country. The development won HUD’s 2008 Energy Star Award for Excellence
in Affordable Housing.
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