Inspiration: Garden Street Lofts
We heard about the Garden Street Lofts in Hoboken and were inspired to check it out. We wanted to learn more about the design and the materials that went into the construction of New Jersey’s first LEED-certified high-rise residential building. And what did we find? A sucker-punch of green building inspiration, that’s what…
We’re not currently in the market to buy a condo, nor do we have the means to seriously upgrade our home, but we still received a lot of inspiration and ideas from the Garden Street Lofts on what we could do eventually when we’re able to make some serious green upgrades.
So, what makes up an award-winning LEED-certified residential building that’s been converted from a dry-goods warehouse? Well, it starts with a holistic “from the ground up” approach. Almost all of the products used in the construction and renovation of the building were sourced within 500 miles of the site. The sheet rock used is 99% recyclable, the insulation made from recycled denim jeans, all the wood is FSC-certified.
The design of each loft also takes into account the use of sustainable, clean and energy-efficient products: individually-zoned HVAC systems provide fresh air filtration to each apartment; low or no-VOC paints and finishes ensure a non-toxic environment; top of the line EnergyStar appliances and fixtures cut down on your monthly energy costs and your CO2 emissions.
Our favorite feature, though? The plant-covered green roof (see above the jump), which was specifically designed to prevent storm-water runoff, provide insulation to the building, and reduce heat pollution.
The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council awarded Garden Street Lofts with the “Beyond Green 2008” award, which recognizes “outstanding initiatives and real-world applications that shape, form, and catalyze the market for high-performance buildings.” Lawrence Bijou Managing Partner Bijou Properties, developers of Garden Street Lofts, offers three considerations for going green in your home:
1. Insulation: Make sure the entire home is well insulated with a non-toxic material such as UltraTouch (recycled cotton) and that the windows in the home are well glazed (insulated) and have a Low E (emissivity) quality. Poor window quality is a major source of energy consumption and heat loss and should not be overlooked.
2. Source Green Renovation Materials: The use of recycled products and the purchasing of FSC lumber (forest stewardship council) go a long way in toward reducing reducing our costly energy consumption. The use of FSC lumber and wood products is the watchdog over illegal logging and chemical manufacturing in wood products. Formaldehyde is a major carcinogen found in many wood products throughout our homes including furnishings and textiles. Use paints that have no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) and adhesives and glues that are low in VOC’s as well. Replace lightbulbs with florescent bulbs which have an extremely long life expectancy and use LED lights wherever practical.
3. Fixtures & Appliances: Another area to consider is our use of water. Changing plumbing and water fixtures to low flow fixtures and better insulated hot water tanks is another way to achieve immediate results in energy savings. Water bills are on the rise, so good conservation is important. Appliances today are mostly EnergyStar rated and consume less electricity and many of these products are made from recycled content as well.
Read more about Garden Street Lofts at their website.