Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Cabarrus County, N.C.–The 312-unit Circle at Concord Mills, a multifamily garden community, has earned this distinction of having the first building in Cabarrus County, N.C.–its clubhouse–to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. According to the developer, Charlotte-based Crescent Resources, the certification is also the first for any part of a multifamily garden community in the entire state.
“We consider green features an amenity that our residents seek out and appreciate,” said Todd Farrell, president of Crescent Resources Multifamily Development Group, in a statement. Crescent Resources, a joint venture between Duke Energy Corp. and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund, is a real estate development company active in 10 states. It is currently under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Circle at Concord Mills’ clubhouse features low-energy doors and windows, low-emissions carpet and paint, native landscaping, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, energy efficient mechanical systems, Energy Star kitchen appliances and recycled building materials. The building also picked up points toward LEED certification by offering preferred parking for hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles.
Though other parts of the community don’t have LEED certification, green elements were used in its development. For example, Circle at Concord Mills is surrounded by 30 acres of preserved woods and wetlands, which helped it become the first multifamily community in the country to be certified by Audubon International as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary.
The Audubon designation, somewhat like the LEED certification, awards levels of achievement (bronze, silver and gold) for implementing principles for sustainable resource management in the design of residential communities, churches, golf courses, schools and other properties. Circle at Concord Mills earned a silver designation shortly after its opening in the spring of 2009.