Over in Emeryville, in that so-called "transitional area" at 41st and Adeline, lies GreenCity Lofts. The 62-unit complex of studios, townhouses, and lofts is remarkable not only for its height (75 feet -- Emeryville normally has a limit of 30 feet, and nearby Oakland, 65), its industrial look, and its bright yellow doors and red windows, but for its eco-friendliness.
We're not talking just no-VOC paints and recycled-content carpeting. The units are Energy Star- qualified. Windows are placed to maximize natural daylighting. There's hydronic radiant floor heating, charging stations for electric vehicles, a metal roof.
According to Dwell, It exceeds California Title 24 energy requirements by 15 percent. The building process was vetted for its sustainability—95 percent of the demolition waste from construction was recycled, surpassing Oakland's legal requirements of 50 percent. The steel superstructure and interior framing contain as much as 90 percent postconsumer recycled content. The cement pours contain at least 25 percent fly ash, and the roof was painted gray, not black, for its cooling benefits.
Of course, GreenCity Lofts don't come cheap. It is the Bay Area, after all. Prices start at $475,000.
Images: Cesar Rubio/Dwell