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Case Study: A Place to Heal in Alabama

Case Study: A Place to Heal in Alabama

  • The new 10-unit LEED-Gold family housing complex on Lakeshore Foundation's campus provides a cozy retreat for veterans who are undergoing rehabilitation and their families.

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    The new 10-unit LEED-Gold family housing complex on Lakeshore Foundation's campus provides a cozy retreat for veterans who are undergoing rehabilitation and their families.

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    Chris Luker

    The new 10-unit LEED-Gold family housing complex on Lakeshore Foundation's campus provides a cozy retreat for veterans who are undergoing rehabilitation and their families.

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    Windows
    Deep roof overhangs and Silver Line double-pane windows with a U-factor of 0.3 and SHGC of 0.24 help to control sunlight. 800.234.4228. www.silverlinewindow.com.

    Walls
    CertainTeed’s Greenguard-certified ProRoc gypsum board contains recycled paper. Walls are finished in soothing neutral colors with Sherwin-Williams low-VOC paint. CertainTeed: 800.233.8990. www.certainteed.com. Sherwin-Williams: 800.474.3794. www.sherwin-williams.com.

    Floors
    Providing a warm wood look and long-lasting wear for common areas, Mohawk Ultimate Step vinyl flooring with 45% pre-consumer recycled content is FloorScore certified to meet indoor air emissions criteria. In the bedrooms, CRI Green Label Plus modular carpet tiles from Bigelow are a healthy, highly durable choice and can be individually replaced when worn out or stained. Mohawk: www.themohawkgroup.com. Bigelow: www.bigelowcommercial.com.

  • 15-SEER LG mini-split heat pumps provide fresh air and comfortable heating and cooling in each room. They feature integrated programmable thermostats and a HSPF of 8.5. In addition, their small motors help to wring moisture from the air during the regions humid summers, verifier Joe Cooper says. 888.865.3026. www.lghvac.com.

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    15-SEER LG mini-split heat pumps provide fresh air and comfortable heating and cooling in each room. They feature integrated programmable thermostats and a HSPF of 8.5. In addition, their small motors help to wring moisture from the air during the regions humid summers, verifier Joe Cooper says. 888.865.3026. www.lghvac.com.

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    Chris Luker

    HVAC System
    15-SEER LG mini-split heat pumps provide fresh air and comfortable heating and cooling in each room. They feature integrated programmable thermostats and a HSPF of 8.5. In addition, their small motors help to wring moisture from the air during the region’s humid summers, verifier Joe Cooper says. 888.865.3026. www.lghvac.com.

  • Kohler WaterSense-certified faucets, showerheads, and Cimarron Class 6 1.28-gpf toilets keep water use low in each bathroom. Energy Star humidity-sensing ventilation fans from NuTone automatically turn on and off as needed to clear the air. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. Circle 317. NuTone: 888.336.3948. www.nutone.com.

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    Kohler WaterSense-certified faucets, showerheads, and Cimarron Class 6 1.28-gpf toilets keep water use low in each bathroom. Energy Star humidity-sensing ventilation fans from NuTone automatically turn on and off as needed to clear the air. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. Circle 317. NuTone: 888.336.3948. www.nutone.com.

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    Chris Luker

    Bathroom
    Kohler WaterSense-certified faucets, showerheads, and Cimarron Class 6 1.28-gpf toilets keep water use low in each bathroom. Energy Star humidity-sensing ventilation fans from NuTone automatically turn on and off as needed to clear the air. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. NuTone: 888.336.3948. www.nutone.com.

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    Kitchen
    Each unit contains a full kitchen with Whirlpool stainless steel Energy Star appliances, a Kohler Coralais ADA-compliant 2.2-gpm pull-out faucet, and accessible-height granite countertops. Whirlpool: 866.698.2538. www.whirlpool.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com.

  • The Cottages project received 8.5 LEED credits for its small-sized floor plans: The duplex units are 649 square feet, and the single-family homes are 1,335 square feet. Nearly 200 peopleveterans, friends, and family membershave stayed at the complex since it opened in late 2010.

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    The Cottages project received 8.5 LEED credits for its small-sized floor plans: The duplex units are 649 square feet, and the single-family homes are 1,335 square feet. Nearly 200 peopleveterans, friends, and family membershave stayed at the complex since it opened in late 2010.

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    Chris Luker

    Floor Plans
    The Cottages project received 8.5 LEED credits for its small-sized floor plans: The duplex units are 649 square feet, and the single-family homes are 1,335 square feet. Nearly 200 people—veterans, friends, and family members—have stayed at the complex since it opened in late 2010.

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    Chris Luker

    Communal Space
    The project was designed with many communal areas where visitors; including this children’s playground.

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    Sun Protection
    Deep roof overhangs shield the units from the harsh summer sun.

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    Landscaping
    The Cottages’ attractive grounds are landscaped with non-invasive, drought-tolerant indigenous plants. The irrigation system from Hunter Industries contains separate zones for each type of bedding and features a moisture sensor and Solar Sync rain-delay controller. 760.744.5240. www.hunterindustries.com.

Project planners kept overall costs low—about $78 per square foot—and achieved LEED certification without any whiz-bang technologies, verifier Joe Cooper says. For starters, they relied on superior framing, a tight building envelope, and meticulous air sealing for a HERS rating of 60.

“Inexpensive items like caulk, spray foam, and mastic go a long way in improving energy efficiency,” he says.

For heating and cooling—both equally important in this region, says Cooper—LG high-efficiency mini-split heat pumps were a logical choice. They negated the need for ductwork, and their built-in programmable thermostats allow for efficient zoned operation.

Because they had to balance the need for common outdoor spaces with density considerations on a small lot, the project team had few options for the Cottages’ orientation. To control heat gain, Nequette speced deep roof overhangs and low-E windows with argon gas. Small trees also were strategically placed in order to eventually offer some shade, but not too much, says Cooper. “It’s surprising that in our climate we have roughly equal heating and cooling degree days,” he says.

Participants and their families are amazed at the level of comfort and sustainability achieved by the project. “The vets get a real sense of pride in seeing that not only did somebody care enough to build a facility for the injured and their families, but, on top of that, they made sure that it meets the highest standard of energy efficiency and environmental design—it’s an amazing sort of reaction,” says Underwood.

Wounded warriors leave Lakeshore with a renewed sense of hope, he says, and family members—especially spouses—enjoy some much-needed pampering, too. One recent visitor sent Underwood a text about how he and his wife had grown closer during their stay. “Thanks for saving my marriage,” it read.