David Rosen
A brand new apartment complex in West Seattle, The Vue at 3261 SW Avalon Way, is pursuing LEED Gold Certification and enables residents to enjoy an outstanding location, excellent amenities, transportation connectivity and built-in green features and benefits.

SLIDESHOW: The Vue Apartments pursues LEED Gold Certification

By David Rosen

A brand new apartment complex in West Seattle, The Vue at 3261 SW Avalon Way, is pursuing LEED Gold Certification, meaning the project was built to the second highest of certified environmental standards. The Vue will be the first LEED for Homes apartment building in West Seattle and there are only 14 other LEED Gold or Platinum apartment buildings in the city of Seattle to date. By being the first LEED Gold building in West Seattle, The Vue hopes to set the LEED standard for future developments in the area.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a voluntary rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). USGBC is a non-profit organization that promotes the design and construction of high performance green buildings.

This project is using the LEED for Homes Mid-Rise 2010 Rating System. This rating system is a rigorous standard for building design and construction that creates greater comfort, lower utility bills, healthier indoor environments, all the while protecting the environment.

The kitchens in every unit of The Vue have been designed with energy efficiency and durability in mind. The refrigerator and dishwasher are Energy Star labeled and use 10-15% less electricity and water than conventional appliances. The range exhaust hood has multiple speeds and is directly vented to the outdoors, ensuring that moisture levels and odors are removed promptly from the unit.

All bathrooms are equipped with a Water Sense labeled shower head which uses only 1.5 gallons per minute, 40% less than conventional showerheads. It has “pressure compensating” technology to help save water (and thus lower utility bills), while still providing a great shower! High-efficiency faucets in the bathrooms use less than 1.5 gallon of water per minute, much less than a conventional faucet. Again, these fixtures are engineered to operate with as much effectiveness as a faucet with a much higher flow rate. A 1.28 gallon per flush toilet that uses 20% less water than a conventional toilet is also in every unit.

Collectively, interior and exterior lighting typically account for 5% to 15% of a new home’s total energy use. Energy efficient bulbs and fixtures, while emitting the same amount of light, can use 50-75% less energy than conventional equipment. These also require less frequent replacement. The owner and project team selected highly efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) for the majority of lighting fixtures in each unit.

A commitment to Indoor Air Quality started during design and construction with future tenants’ health in mind. Most windows in each unit contain window-integrated fresh air vents, ensuring distribution of fresh air into every room of the apartment. The size and number of vents are part of an engineered whole house ventilation system, right-sized for each apartment’s floor plan and coupled with the whole house fan located in the laundry room.

In addition to the LEED Compliance, inside the parking garage they have a built in Carbon Monoxide detectors so in case someone left their vehicle running or they fell asleep and instead of the garage filling up the detector would pick the smell of the gas it would kick on large ventilation fans and immediately bring in fresh air.

They also have high tech security including FOBB Entry Systems which is similar to what you would have in a hotel, this allows a resident to have a relatively secure environment where you can only open that door if you have a key or the FOBB that keeps you from messing with a key, its just an electronic swipe that releases the doors.

The lighting in the building in areas like the garage and emergency stairwells where people go in there periodically there are motion senors on the lights that allow the lights to turn off when they don't sense motion but turn back on when someone's actually walking down the corridor.

These are just a few examples of the many measures that were taken to ensure this building was constructed to LEED Gold standards. Tenants of this new building will not only enjoy lower utility bills but also a healthy environment to call home.

Dave Meissner, property owner said, " West Seattle is a bedroom community where people want to have an urban setting but in more of a suburban market. It is a area where you need to go to downtown to go to work but you actually live out here, play out here, you have Alki Beach, Farmer's Market in the Junction, lots of little local shops, people out here are very active they bike ride a lot, playing golf right next door. The lifestyle is young and active, lots of people ride their bikes, walk their pets, just a very active urban profile. We believe the property offers a wide variety of very affordable housing along with some very nice large view units, so you can have young professionals and work force housing."

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