Renaissance Square Wins Sustainable Building Award from Maryland USGBC

Renaissance Square, a for-sale affordable housing community under development in Essex, Md., has earned a valuable distinction in Maryland's sustainable housing development arena.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Renaissance Square, a for-sale affordable housing community under development by Enterprise Homes Inc. and Mark Building Co. in Essex, Md., fewer than 10 miles east of Baltimore, has earned a valuable distinction in Maryland’s sustainable housing development arena. The Maryland Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council recently honored the project with the Sustainable Building Neighborhood Development.

Enterprise Homes and Mark Building are well known in the building industry for their emphasis on green development. “Being recognized with the MD-USGBC Evergreen award for Renaissance Square really speaks to how seamlessly we can integrate green building practices into new for-sale homes,” Chickie Grayson, president and CEO of Enterprise Homes, tells MHN.

The team is following guidelines of the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, the first national framework for green affordable housing, for its multi-phase development of Renaissance Square. As a result, the property will ultimately incorporate a bevy of environmentally friendly and energy-efficient elements. The list of green features includes Green Guard building wrap and added attic insulation, formaldehyde-free composite wood and drought-tolerant landscaping. Inside, all residences will offer Energy Star appliances, Green Label Carpet, as well as low-flow faucets, toilets and shower heads.

Sixty of Renaissance Square’s 115 homes will be made available to households with incomes as low as 60 percent of the Area Median Income. Homebuyers have already claimed approximately 75 percent of the first phase of Renaissance Square. Phase two of the development is on schedule to commence early this spring.

MD-USGBC’s acknowledgment of Renaissance Square with the Evergreen award further solidifies the developers’ standing as models in the green affordable-housing development industry. And the recognition may very well help draw more attention to the importance of sustainable multifamily development, which Enterprise Homes hopes will become a nationwide practice. “As a whole, Enterprise has called upon the developer community to build all affordable homes green by 2020,” Grayson says. “Awards like this clearly show how far along we are in the process.”

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