Green Case Study - Transit Oriented Development
Gish Family Apartments San Jose, California - Photos © Bernard Andre Photography
First Community Housing innovative affordable housing developers-Jeff Oberdorfer, FAIA
Gish Family Apartments Gold ratings in both LEED for New Construction and the LEED for Homes pilot program.
145 points in California’s GreenPoint Rated program highest ever for multifamily project.
Owner: First Community Housing
Architect: OJK Architecture And Planning
Interior Designer: First Community Housing
Landscape: Cottong & Taniguchi
Engineers: Vertech Engineering (Structural), H.A. Bowen Electric (Electrical), Murphy Engineers (Mechanical)
Commissioning Agent: Guttman & Blaevoet
Environmental Consultant: Guttman & Blaevoet (Energy), Integrated Design Associates (Lighting), Edward L. Pack & Associates (Acoustical), Simon & Associates (LEED)
General Contractor: Branagh Construction
Redeveloped vacant brownfield
72,000-square-foot building completed June 2007
35 apartments for tenants earning less than half the area median income. 13 are reserved for tenants with developmental disabilities.
- laundry facilities
- community room
- computer room
- outdoor courtyard play area
- location adjacent to a light-rail station
- reduces required parking
- First Community provides free transit Eco Passes for Santa Clara County’s light-rail and bus routes to all tenants
- same small pool of team members develop a high degree of communication, collaboration, and trust
Energy-efficiency features include:
- double-glazed, operable windows
- reflective roof
- 2-by-6 walls for extra insulation
- Energy Star appliances
- 30-kilowatt photovoltaic system mounted on the building’s roof provides about 20 percent of the electricity for common areas
- Monitor in the community room displays the solar panel array production in real time.
- Tenants are billed for their own energy use to ensure financial incentive for conservation Water-efficiency features include drought-tolerant plantings, a subsurface irrigation system, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets and showerheads.
- Modeling predicts that the building will use 21 percent less energy and 36 percent less potable water than a comparable conventional building.
Indoor air quality components include:
- furniture with no added urea-formaldehyde
- insulation, paints, sealants, and adhesives with low VOC emissions
- entire building, including the retail and outdoor areas, is non-smoking
- 400 people were on the waiting list for the building’s 35 apartments.