Some of the eco-minded amenities that lure renters to the 290-unit Park Plaza include electric-car charging stations, a strictly enforced no-smoking policy, bicycle storage, and door-to-door recycling collection five days a week. In addition, the close-in location near bus stops and the Amtrak station is ideal for commuters.
Developer Gables Residential focused on material, energy, and water conservation and incorporated multiple passive solar techniques including balconies for shade, reflective roofing, high-albedo hardscaping, and structured parking to reduce ambient site heating. Angled exterior walls with ample window placements provide extensive daylighting.
Through a variety of steps—including commercial-grade windows, careful insulation, HVAC efficiency, and 90% CFL lighting fixtures—project planners reduced energy consumption by 22% over code. For optimum indoor air quality, they speced low-VOC paints and sealants and Green Seal-certified carpeting with zero CFCs and HCFCs.
A high-efficiency boiler system, low-flow toilets and fixtures, and Energy Star dishwashers and washing machines provide 36% estimated water savings over the EPA baseline. A recirculating hot water system adds even more efficiency by rapidly delivering hot water to the units.
Separately zoned irrigation systems with rain sensors were installed for bedding turf areas. For storm water treatment and conveyance, the developer partnered with the city of Austin and the University of Texas to incorporate a bio-filtration meadow into the site.
In addition to the community’s premium high-performance credentials, local young professionals are drawn to its luxury touches, including the rooftop swimming pool and lounge, state-of-the-art fitness center, media room, and concierge service.
Other sustainable features include:
--Energy Star refrigerators and dishwashers
--More than 80% of construction waste diverted from the landfill
--Dark sky-compliant exterior lighting
--Lighting fixtures in common areas and outside set on motion sensors
--Bamboo flooring in the living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens