At JCHE, we are very proud to have recently received approval as an Enterprise Green Communities certified development. This is excellent news for the community, the residents, the organization, and certainly, the environment!
Building green has always been a basic tenet in the development of Shillman House. At the time when the planning began in the early 2000s, JCHE was among the leaders in designing green affordable senior housing. Our architects, Dimella Shaffer, values sustainable design and brought their expertise to this project.
As with any senior housing, we had numerous considerations as the plans emerged. The building had to be universally accessible. It needed centrally located common space. Attractive outdoor spaces were also essential. And we were committed to adding significant green components to create an energy efficient and healthy community.
We began with the HVAC system. Shillman House has 10 geothermal wells to efficiently heat and cool the building. The central ventilation system will provide a constant flow of fresh air into the apartments. Photovoltaic panels located on the roof will enable us to draw upon solar energy to generate electricity. Energy Star high efficiency lighting will be used throughout the building and the grounds. The building’s very tight insulated envelope will help keep heating costs manageable during tough New England winters as well as controlling cooling costs in the summer. Water conservation will be achieved with the installation of low flow faucet and showerheads.
Green consideration was used in the landscaping designs. Plants selected for the property are appropriate to the region’s climate and over half are native plants.
We gave careful consideration to the materials used in constructing and furnishing the building. All the appliances in the individual units are Energy Star rated. In order to maintain the highest health standards, JCHE is using paints, adhesives and sealants with low or no VOCs (voltaic organic compound) emissions. Additionally, we have selected Green Label products for carpeting and floor coverings for low VOC emissions.
We are very enthused about plans to keep the building operating in environmentally smart ways once the building is occupied. Shillman House will be completely smoke free, including the common spaces, the individual apartments and the building’s grounds. Soon after they have moved in, residents will meet individually with Shillman staff to learn ways to facilitate energy efficiency throughout the building. This level of training and conversation will spur the community to make environmentally wise decisions.
While earning any certification is satisfying, receiving Enterprise Green Communities certification is particularly gratifying. Building a healthy and efficient development has been a priority among the staff and the entire building team. We are so pleased to have achieved this goal and we look forward to affixing our certification plaque on a Shillman wall with pride.
As always, please send me an email with your comments. Thank you.