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May. 3, 2013

LEED Apartments Underway in Orlando

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Orlando, Fla.—Work has started on Azul Baldwin Park, a 178-unit property that will have the distinction of being the first apartment community in the Orlando, Fla. area to achieve LEED certification. Washington, D.C.-based Jefferson Apartment Group is the developer, along with Spartanburg, S.C.-based investment partner Pacolet Milliken Enterprises Inc.

The project is on the site of a former U.S. Navy barracks in Baldwin Park, an Orlando neighborhood built on the site of a former Naval Training Center. The 1,100-acre neighborhood, designed according to New Urbanism principles, is now home to 8,000 residents and more than 125 businesses. Azul Baldwin Park, which will be five stories tall, is slated for completion by the end of this year.

To archive LEED certification for the property, the developers are pursuing a number of strategies. The structure will, for instance, feature a concrete-tile roofing product that contains a high solar reflective index value. The goal of this kind of roofing is to reduce the amount of solar energy the building attracts and absorbs, in turn minimizing the heat island effect (which is almost always a good thing in Florida).

The apartments will also use roughly 40 percent less water than comparable properties, achieved through low-flow toilets, urinals, kitchen sinks and showers. The Water Efficiency LEED category will also be met through the exclusive use of reclaimed water, or greywater, for landscape irrigation.

The location of Azul Baldwin Park also will be part of the certification, since it’s in a walkable community—the aforementioned Baldwin Park—with a grocery store, restaurants, parks and the like within a half-mile of the development. Features to encourage ride sharing and other low-carbon transportation choices will be built into the property, including preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as designated car-pool areas.

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