Page E1.2 . 24 April 2013   
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
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Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments · Oakland, California

Located at the edge of Oakland, California's downtown Chinatown neighborhood, a colorful new affordable senior housing project transformed an abandoned site near a busy freeway into a community resource for disadvantaged and formerly homeless senior citizens while also exemplifying good universal and sustainable design.

The six-story Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments, designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, was certified at the Platinum level under a LEED for Homes Mid-Rise pilot program.

The LEED Gold-certified Swenson Civil Engineering Building, at the University of Minnesota Duluth, rounds out the list of ten, and was the subject of the cover story for ArchitectureWeek 529.

The 50,000-square-foot (4,600-square-meter) Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments, completed in July 2012, provides on-site services and a total of 70 apartments reserved for seniors with incomes between 30% and 50% of the area's median income. And over half of the units are further set aside for qualifying seniors who are also either homeless or at risk of homelessness, or who are living with either HIV/ AIDS, or mental illness.

On the sustainability front, both photovoltaic and water-heating solar panels are installed on the building's roof to take advantage of considerable solar-energy access. All plumbing fixtures are low-flow devices.

Federal Center South Building · Seattle, Washington

The Federal Center South Building 1202 is a General Services Administration building in Seattle, Washington. ZGF Architects was part of the 209,000-square-foot (19,400-square-meter) project's design-build team, along with Sellen Construction.

The metal panel-clad building, which is targeting LEED Platinum certification, is a new headquarters for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, and was built on a brownfield site adjacent to a federal superfund site. This project's plan is in the shape of a horseshoe, a form which the firm attributes to local geographic features — particularly the oxbows that are characteristic of the nearby Duwamish Waterway.

At the center of its plan, a large, three-story atrium serves many roles in the building's design: a circulation core, an air-return plenum, and day-lit garden courtyard. A hybrid structural system of exposed wood and steel reinforces a connection with the neighborhood's warehouse past, and with an adjacent 20th-Century warehouse building designed by Albert Kahn.

The project transforms 4.6 acres (hectares) from 100 percent impervious to 50 percent pervious landscape.

Some of the sustainable features of Federal Center South Building 1202 include: a multi-well ground-source heating and cooling system, a rainwater capture system and 25,000-gallon (95,000-liter) cistern, occupancy sensors and extensive daylighting, and an under-floor ventilation system using 100% outside air.

The building has a net energy use intensity of 6.2 kWh/ foot2/ year (66.3 kWh/ square meter/ year), complies with 2030 Challenge goals, and is expected to earn an Energy Star score of 100.   >>>

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Open-plan apartments in the Merritt Crossing building are mainly one-bedroom units, with a small number of both studio and two-bedroom options also available.
Photo: Tim Griffith Extra Large Image

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The 70-unit Merritt Crossing Senior Apartment building is a LEED Platinum-certified facility for low-income senior citizens in Oakland, California.
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Southeast elevation and section drawings of Merrit Crossing, designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects.
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Ground-floor and typical upper-floor plan drawings of Merrit Crossing Senior Apartments.
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Designed by ZGF Architects, the Federal Center South Building 1202, in Seattle, Washington, uses a hybrid sctructure of steel and wood columns and beams.
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider Extra Large Image

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A LEED Platinum-certified regional headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the horeshoe-shaped Federal Center South Building 1202 is clad in polished metal panels.
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider Extra Large Image

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Floor plan drawings of the Federal Center South Building 1202.
Image: ZGF Architects Extra Large Image

 

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