Homestead Apartments is a public housing complex of four 12-story buildings
that was originally constructed in the 1950s. This apartment complex is located
just outside of Pittsburgh in Homestead Borough, an historic urban neighborhood
that suffered economically from the dismantling of the steel industry in
Western Pennsylvania decades ago. The existing buildings and site were in
great need of updating and revitalization both functionally and physically.
Because the Ownership felt a responsibility toward environmental stewardship,
they did not want to renovate the 50-year old buildings in the standard construction
fashion, nor demolish the structures and begin anew. They wanted a green,
sustainable, and energy-efficient design and construction. This sustainable
design would also extend the life expectance and reduce operational costs.
The primary objectives were to improve density, create interior and exterior
common spaces, and develop a strong services component with in house fully
staffed facilities. UpStreet Architects was responsible for the renovations
in Buildings A, B and C, the LIFE Center in Tower D and the site improvements.
Towers A and B each converted 72 units into 60 and Tower C converted 60 units
to 52 for a total of 172 units. Towers A and B have both received LEED Silver
Certification. The site improvements included reduced paving and creation
of useable seating areas around trellises and a fountain. The project is
funded by LIHTC and HOPE VI.