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Dec. 13, 2013

LEED Platinum Certified Paseo Verde Opens in Philadelphia

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

One of the city’s much-anticipated “green” housing projects officially opened last week at the corner of  9th and Berks Streets in the Temple University area, shortly after it was featured on the GreenBuild 2013 tour roster.

Developed by a joint venture between the nonprofit community organization Asociacion de Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM) and Jonathan Rose Companies and designed by Wallace Roberts & Todd Architects, Paseo Verde broke ground in spring 2012 as an energy-efficient, transportation-oriented complex that would link a then-distressed area in North Philadelphia with the suburbs.

The $48 million project at 1900 North 9th Street replaced a 1.9-acre brownfield that was decontaminated prior to construction.  At 206,000 square feet, the five-story building consists of 120 rental units with one- to three-bedroom apartments for low- and moderate-income families, as well as 30,000 square feet of office and retail space and almost 70 underground parking spaces.

Seen as the crown jewel of Philadelphia in terms of sustainability and design and a “community of opportunity” according to Philadelphia Inquirer, Paseo Verde is the first development in the United States and the second in the world to win the “Platinum” certification under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Neighborhood Development.

The building’s green amenities such as photovoltaic solar panels, the use of locally produced and recycled building materials, spacious green and blue roofs, energy efficient building envelope and MEP systems and a comprehensive storm water management system will help reduce energy use. But what makes Paseo Verde even more environmentally friendly is that it’s located within walking distance from SEPTA’s Temple University Regional Rail station, which is one of the busiest in the country. This means that residents can reduce costs (and even change their lifestyle) by letting go of their cars and using the train to get to their jobs in the suburbs.

Jonathan Rose Companies is one of the developers behind Via Verde, a LEED Gold certified green housing community that opened in New York City in August 2012.

Image credits to Jeffrey Totaro via Paseo Verde Facebook page

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