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Sustainable Certification Options for Multifamily Buildings

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

The Residences at St. Elizabeths East is a certified Enterprise Green Community

Sustainable certification ratings systems were originally developed to create minimum requirements for making a building truly “green” and to prevent false claims of sustainability. Through a checklist of requirements that varies depending on the rating system, they aim to promote sustainable materials and concepts such as recycled content, material reuse, energy efficiency, water efficiency, fresh air, and access to daylight, to name a few. Embedded within the culture of Cunningham | Quill Architects is a belief that good design and the sound planning of projects positively impacts the greater environment; as such, we strive to incorporate sustainable materials and concepts in all aspects of our work.

Many Local, State, and Federal governments share the goal of promoting projects that positively impact the environment and have adopted codes that either require a minimum performance to one or more rating systems or allow compliance with a rating system as an alternative to adopted ICC Green Construction Codes.

The Terrell Short-term Family Housing achieved LEED Homes and Multifamily Mid-Rise Platinum certification

Depending on the jurisdiction and the project size, there are a myriad of options for multifamily projects. USGBC’s LEED, the most widely accepted sustainable certification system, offers LEED for Homes Multifamily Midrise, LEED for Homes Multifamily Lowrise, or LEED Building Design and New Construction. Our recently completed project, the Terrell Short-Term Family Housing achieved certification for LEED Homes and Multifamily Mid-Rise Platinum. The Terrell has been celebrated by Mayor Bowser and heralded as one of DC’s most successful responses to affordable housing.

Affordable housing multifamily building, The Spire, achieved Earthcraft Multifamily Gold certification
EarthCraft, a certification and rating system accepted more commonly in the Southeast, including Virginia, offers EarthCraft Multifamily. Cunningham | Quill’s just completed project The Spire, achieved EarthCraft Multifamily Gold certification. This eight-story multifamily podium-style building includes 113 dwelling units, a two-story community room, a multipurpose room, and park-like courtyard.

Featured Projects:

Terrell Short-Term Family Housing (50-unit multifamily housing for families under Mayor Bowsers plan to end homelessness): LEED Homes and Multifamily Mid-Rise Platinum Certification

Builder: GCS | Sigal

The Spire (eight-story affordable multifamily building with 113 units, a two-story community room, a multipurpose room, and park-like courtyard): Earthcraft Multifamily Gold Certification

Developer: AHC, Inc.

Photography: Allen Russ

The Residences at St. Elizabeths East (an adaptive reuse of the former mental hospital in Southeast Washington, DC into 250 affordable housing units): Enterprise Green Communities

Developer: Flaherty & Collins and AEDC

Builder: GCS | Sigal

Photography: Allen Russ


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