MHN Asks … About Sustainability

Experts share insights into the strategies behind the latest green features at their communities.

What green, nature-inspired amenities have you recently added to your properties, and what results are you seeing?

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Michael Pompizzi, president & CFO, Jupiter Realty

Michael Pompizzi
Michael Pompizzi

❝Our latest community, 465 North Park, was designed and constructed to achieve LEED Silver status. In conjunction therewith, it includes high-efficiency LED lighting throughout, green roofs, extensive plantings on three levels, electric car chargers in the garage, large bike storage area with repair shop, water saving plumbing fixtures, high-efficiency mechanical systems and appliances, motion activated lights in the common areas, energy saving windows and a tuned sloshing damper on top that uses, without any power or moving parts, the building’s tendency to move in the wind to create counteracting water waves to temper any such movement. The benefits include, from a marketing perspective, a building sensitive to the ecology, lower utility bills to ownership and tenants, and greater resident satisfaction.❞

Bethany Borel, associate, COOKFOX Architects

Bethany Borel

❝At COOKFOX we use principles of biophilic design to weave the natural world into every amenity space. In all of our residential buildings, tenants have direct access to planted outdoor space through a combination of common or private terraces, planted loggias, courtyards and/or rooftop gardens. At 550 Vanderbilt and 535 Carlton in Brooklyn, residents can plant vegetable gardens on an expansive common terrace, getting their hands in the dirt and growing their own food in the heart of New York City.

Another crucial element of biophilic design is access to daylight, which not only helps our circadian rhythms, but also offers visual connects to nature and weather patterns. We incorporate sunlight and views into common hallways, helping to orient residents to both the building and the city. We use biomimetic design and natural materials with natural patterns and textures such as stone, wood, natural fibers and leathers that patina with age, and provide tactile feedback that mimic experiences in nature to create spaces that support physical and mental well-being.❞

Diana Pittro, executive vice president of RMK Management Corp.

Diana Pittro

❝Many of our Chicago-area properties are in the heart of urban neighborhoods, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life, so incorporating green space not only enhances the aesthetics of the property but also provides a place of respite and relaxation for residents. Additionally, ‘green’ elements positively impact the environmental friendliness and sustainability of the property.

At Viridian on Sheridan, a newly built 100-unit rental development RMK is managing in Chicago’s popular Lakeview neighborhood, there are two rooftop gardens planned for produce and herbs responsibly grown using a comprehensive green-roof system. The green roofs ecologically manage storm water and provide an aesthetically pleasing backdrop for residents, as they can be seen from amenity spaces and select units. As a bonus, residents will be able to purchase produce grown on the rooftop.

Even the name of the property, Viridian—which means blue-green pigment— reflects the community’s green surroundings and its views of the deep blues in Lake Michigan.  At another Lakeview property, Halsted Flats, RMK planted an herb and produce garden that is popular with residents. Our foodie residents love being able to add fresh ingredients that they picked right outside their building to their meals.❞

You’ll find more on this topic in the October 2018 issue of MHN.