New Atlanta Multifamily Property Stresses Water Conservation

Atlanta--Enso has unveiled its water-efficiency features, including a cistern for rainwater harvesting, water-efficient plumbing and a saltwater pool.

Construction of Enso in October

Atlanta–Enso, a multifamily complex in southeastern Atlanta, has unveiled its water-efficiency features to coincide with World Water Day. Besides being environmentally friendly and part of the property’s efforts to win LEED silver certification, the developer of the property, Atlanta-based Capital 33, says the features help make it more competitive as an apartment.

Enso has 325 units on five acres, ranging from 775 square feet to 1,400 square feet. Among other amenities, the property offers cyber- and gaming lounges, a multimedia bar with movie theater, fitness and business centers, a “bark park” (for dogs), and green-friendly cleaning services.

The property was unusual in that it was able to obtain financing after the fall of 2008, when Capital 33 formed a joint venture with JP Morgan Chase & Co. in 2009. Capital 33 had previously acquired the site for $5.3 million.

Scheduled to open this spring, Enso’s water-efficiency methods include a cistern for rainwater harvesting that holds over 76,000 gallons, or the equivalent of five standard-sized swimming pools, plus over an acre of landscaping indigenous to the area, which reduces water consumption for landscaping by about half. Also, the property features water-efficient plumbing, which will save each resident 40,000 gallons annually and reduce overall consumption by about 22 percent (for total savings of over 1 million gallons annually); and a saltwater pool, which eliminates the use of environmentally harsh chemicals.

Water conservation is more than an abstract environmental concern in Atlanta these days. During the last three years, rainfall totals in Georgia have been far below normal, and Lake Lanier, the reservoir from which the city draws its water supply, has fallen to historic lows.

Besides water conservation, Capital 33 has employed other green building practices. A reflective white roofing system reduces the heat island effect, and 25-foot free-space zones around windows and doors promote natural ventilation, which lowers energy use. The property will also sport high-efficiency HVAC, which will reduce the structure’s energy consumption by 14 percent. During construction, 85 percent of  materials used were from recycled sources, and 92 percent of them came from within 500 miles of the site.

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