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June 19, 2012 | last updated June 20, 2012 11:03 am

Portland housing complex earns LEED status

Photo/Courtesy Thornton Thomasetti
Photo/Courtesy Thornton Thomasetti
Oak Street Lofts, owned by Avesta Housing, recently earned LEED platinum status from the U.S. Green Building Council
Photo/Courtesy Thornton Thomasetti
The interior of Oak Street Lofts. The building features solar thermal hot water and a heat recovery ventilation system.

Oak Street Lofts, a 37-unit apartment complex in Portland owned by Avesta Housing, has received LEED platinum certification, making it the first affordable multi-family building in Maine to receive that designation.

The 29,370-square-foot complex, completed this past spring, features apartments that are nearly 40% more energy efficient than the average multi-family building, according to a press release from Thornton Thomasetti/Fore Solutions, the green building consulting firm that worked on the project. Heat and electricity costs for each studio apartment are expected to average about $58 per month, compared with $92 per month for a typical unit. The building has solar thermal water heating and a heat recovery ventilation system, as well as glazed windows. Walls were made from locally sourced wood, and more than 60% of construction waste was recycled.

The project was mostly financed through the Green Affordable Housing Bond passed by the Legislature in 2009 in order to create construction jobs, improve Maine's aging housing stock and provide more housing for low- and middle-income families, according to the release.

New York-based engineering firm Thornton Thomasetti acquired Fore Solutions of Portland earlier this year. Portland-based CWS Architects was the architect for the housing project. Avesta Housing is a Portland-based nonprofit that develops housing for families in southern Maine, and is one of the largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing in New England.

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