Mixed-Use D.C. Development Gains LEED for Neighborhood Development Level

Twinbrook Station, a 26-acre project next to a stop on the Washington, D.C. regional subway system

Rockville, MD.–Twinbrook Station, a 26-acre project next to a stop on the Washington, D.C. regional subway system, hosted the Washington,  D.C.-area announcement last week of a new LEED certification program that makes green communities a core focus.

Under a USGBC pilot program, Twinbrook Station was among the first in the nation to be evaluated for LEED-Neighborhood Development (ND) certification, earning the highest gold rating, according to Twinbrook Station’s developer, JBG Companies.

The LEED-ND ratings scale has come along at precisely the right time for the development, says Anthony Greenberg, Twinbrook Station’s project manager and a vice president at JBG Companies.

“It was the right scale for a project of this size, and it pushed us some to go greener,” Greenberg says. It is important to have an independent source verify that a property is environmentally friendly, he says

Twinbrook Station will house 2.2 million square feet of mixed-use space, and will include 1,595 multifamily residential units. The first phase of the development, The Alaire, which opened last month, includes 279 one-and two-bedroom rental apartments, as well as approximately 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The Alaire is now in lease-up phase, with one-bedroom units starting at $1,600, and two bedroom apartments starting at $2,100.

The Alaire features a saline pool that does not use chlorine, and a 2,000-square-foot green roof, designed by an aeronautical engineer, that is made of recycled material, such as plastic soda bottles, that is able to support plant life, Greenberg says. Also, low-VOC paints were used in the apartments, while  “machine-room-less elevators,” which use significantly less electricity than the conventional types, are another green feature.

Overall, 80 percent of the buildings at Twinbrook Station will purse LEED ratings, and the project is designed to use 30 percent less water than comparable conventional projects.

But when asked what these green features cost, Greenberg said that question becomes less relevant as more developers are making many of these green building features standard.

“We consider these to be building best practices, that have significant benefits,” he says.

Twinbrook Station will be built in phases, and could take as long as ten years to complete, based on market demand.

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