By Keith Loria, Contributing Writer
Easton, Pa.—Pennrose, a Philadelphia-based real estate development company, achieved LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for its Neston Heights Senior property, located at 210 Jones Houston Way in Easton, Pa.
The Neston Heights development was a former Housing Authority-owned public housing property called Delaware Terrace. Pennrose partnered with the Housing Authority in 2007 to create a more cost-effective and efficient development.
“Pennrose and the Housing Authority of the City of Easton are honored to be recognized through this certification,” Kyle F. Speece, Pennrose’s development officer, tells MHN. “The achievement is a testament to the development team’s successful incorporation of green building and sustainability elements in modern, high-quality new construction. It also reaffirms the importance of energy efficiency and sustainability in the development of affordable housing for seniors.”
The development now features green initiatives such as strict erosion control to keep topsoil on site; drought tolerant and native plants, which reduces the demand for irrigation, chemical fertilizers and pesticides; chemical-free pest-proof screens on vent penetration; and EPA Watersense Labeled toilets that use 20 percent less water per flush and have passed federal tests for quality and effectiveness.
“We also have computer modeled homes that predict the amount of energy a home will consume in an average year,” Speece says. “There’s also a construction waste management plan and recycling specialist to sort through project waste.”
The Neston Heights Senior development is managed and maintained by Pennrose Management Company, which insists upon the involvement of the staff who will be responsible for maintaining the real estate asset in the initial design.
“PMC’s operations and maintenance departments work closely with the architects, engineers, and contractors to design communities which are not only of the highest quality and attractiveness, but also will operate sustainably while impacting the natural environment as positively as possible,” Speece says. “Development team members, some of whom are themselves LEED-certified professionals, stay abreast of the newest innovations in energy-efficient technology and design and bring those principals to bear in the design of a community like Neston Heights.”
In addition to creating sustainability and durability for the residents, the new development is expected to help the neighborhood itself.
“We believe the LEED Silver designation of Neston Heights Senior is a testament to the ability of our development team to achieve multiple objectives, revitalizing communities which will contribute positively to the neighborhoods in which they exist; constructing homes of the highest quality and attractiveness; and ensuring minimal use of natural resources with maximum inclusion of green building and sustainability practices in housing development,” Speece says.