NorSouth Constructs’ Project of the Year is Green Community for Seniors

NorSouth Constructs has announced the opening of Oliver House, the second phase of a $30 million redevelopment of Allen Wilson Terrace Public Housing by the Decatur Housing Authority.

Decatur, Ga.—NorSouth Constructs has announced the opening of Oliver House, the second phase of a $30 million redevelopment of Allen Wilson Terrace Public Housing by the Decatur Housing Authority (DHA). The senior housing community has been named EarthCraft Multifamily 2012 Project of the Year by Southface and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. Both NorSouth Constructs and DHA were honored for excellence in green building design and construction for Oliver House.

Oliver House is named for Henry Oliver, an African-American business owner who lived in Decatur over a century ago. The community has 80 units—72 affordable one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom apartments designed for seniors.

NorSouth Constructs took great care to ensure that the building was green.

“A great deal of planning ensured Oliver House achieved a high degree of sustainable features, beyond what are the common ‘green features’ seen in building construction today,” Colin Edelstein, director of NorSouth Constructs, tells MHN. “These features were incorporated to benefit the residents, the community and the owner. First, those who live in Oliver House enjoy a substantially healthier living environment along with reduced monthly living expenses. The greater community benefits through a reduced burden on public infrastructure, public utility usage and the aesthetic improvement realized through redevelopment of an aging housing project. The owner, a publicly financed Housing Authority, also benefits through reduced operating expenses and long-term operational costs, allowing a greater efficiency of utilizing its resources to best serve its clients.”

According to Edelstein, some of the green features include roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels that produce more than 50 kilowatts of electricity, a rainwater harvest system, low-flow plumbing fixtures in the units, low-VOC paints, formaldehyde-free cabinetry, a green roof and electricity-conserving geo-thermal heat pump systems to heat and cool the common areas.

“Going green is not only the right thing to do, but it pays dividends in reduced costs over time for both the Decatur Housing Authority and its residents,” DHA Executive Director Doug Faust says. “Using new energy efficiency techniques is an important part of developing quality housing and we are fortunate that all of the partners involved with the design and construction of Oliver House have been as committed to the environment as we are. Oliver House’s numerous energy-efficient features, attractive design and focus on safety and comfort for the senior residents set a high standard for future development of affordable housing for seniors.”