The design of Silver Gardens—66 apartments in downtown Albuquerque—left almost nothing on the table. Its lengthy list of eco-specs reads like a LEED handbook, hence the Platinum rating. What’s more, these accomplishments played out on a handsome product targeting residents with an income mix from formerly homeless to market rate, including those with special needs.

The robust building’s sustainable attributes are varied and vast, from solar and wind power supplying 80% of common-area electricity, a lighting package 40% more efficient than standard, and an HRV and high-efficiency fan coil/heat pump for each unit, to covered bike storage and walk-off entry mats.

According to developer Romero Rose, this is the first U.S. affordable housing development to take its best practices to the bank—or, in this case, the Enterprise Green Communities Carbon Offset Fund. Proceeds of roughly $280,000 will help pay for the supportive services the building provides (such as an on-site coordinator who ensures that residents with physical and behavioral health challenges receive the medical and social services they need), as will more than $20,000 in energy-related utility rebates.


Windows: Mercer / Doors: Arcadia / Roofing: Carlisle / Decking: Trex / Landscape Irrigation: Hunter / Insulation: Knauf, Western Fibers / Appliances: GE, Maytag / Kitchen Faucets: ProFlo / Cabinetry: Merillat / Countertops: VT Industries / Toilets: ProFlo / Bath Faucets & Showerheads: Delta, ProFlo / Interior Doors: Taylor Door Company / Interior Lighting: American Fluorescent, Cooper Lighting, Elco Lighting / Occupancy Sensors: WattStopper / Exterior Lighting: Cooper Lighting / Paints & Stains: Kwal Paint / Flooring & Carpeting: Patcraft, Shaw / HVAC: Bryant / Water Heating: Rheem / Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Alarm: Kidde / Ventilation: Broan / Entrance Mats & Grating: ProTek

Click here to see all the 2011 EHDA winners