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Hamilton Urban Partners: 4-Star Sylvan Court Expansion

Vital Stats



Location: Seattle
Star Level: 4-Star
Checklist: 2017 Multifamily Checklist
Verifier: Evergreen Certified
Site and Water180
Energy Efficiency75
Health and Indoor Air Quality107
Material Efficiency61
 Total Score437

According to the Carbon Leadership Forum’s Carbon Avoided Retrofit Estimator’s (CARE) website, “Renovating an existing structure typically has a much lower carbon footprint than building a new one because it reuses most of the carbon intensive parts of the building—the foundation, structure and building envelope.” Sylvan Court, which was originally constructed in 1964, recently underwent a renovation to upgrade the existing building instead of tearing it down; and also constructed a new building on the property’s former parking lot, doubling the amount of rentable housing units. While the original building doesn’t earn points on the new building’s checklist, their strategy was a great approach to minimizing their carbon impact, reduce waste, while still promoting urban density by constructing more units on the same lot.

Hamilton Urban Partners: 4-Star Sylvan Court Expansion exterior

The new building, a 20-unit apartment building, obtained a Built Green 4-Star certification on the 2017 multifamily checklist. The building was able to do so by claiming a variety of points throughout the checklist. Some of the highlight features utilized in the Built Green checklist to get the points were using drought-tolerant and native vegetation and low-flow plumbing fixtures to minimize the amount of water used on the property; BIBS insulation and a lower blower door score to keep energy costs down; low VOC paints, finishes, and interior products with indoor air-quality certifications to keeps tenants safe and healthy; and utilizing local and durable material to keep the building standing for a long time to come.

In addition to the variety of green features utilized by the construction team, the building offers bike storage with a repair station to incentivize tenants to ride their bikes or walk. The building is located within of the urban village zone and has a walkability score of 91. This in itself will help encourage more healthy living while reducing the need for a car.

Hamilton Urban Partners: 4-Star Sylvan Court Expansion exterior
Hamilton Urban Partners: 4-Star Sylvan Court Expansion loft ladder
Hamilton Urban Partners: 4-Star Sylvan Court Expansion interior

Built Green Highlights

Site and Water

  • Greyfield Lot
  • 90%+ permeable hardscaping
  • Energy Star qualified TPO roof
  • Drought-tolerant landscaping
  • Low-flow EPA WaterSense plumbing fixtures

Energy Efficiency

  • Blown-in blanket insulation in exterior walls
  • 0.25cfm/ft2 @ 75Pa blower door score
  • Water and electricity sub-metering
  • All lighting LED and/or Energy Star
  • Energy Star appliances in all units

Health and Indoor Air Quality

  • Low VOC paints, adhesives, finishes
  • Pre-finished LVP flooring in units
  • CRI Green Label plus carpet tiles in hallways
  • Rainscreen installed under siding
  • Sill pans with back dams at doors and windows

Materials Efficiency

  • Abundance of locally products items used
  • Extensive engineered lumber
  • Insulation with 40% recycled content used
  • Declare, Living Building Challenge, Cradle-to-Cradle materials used
Hamilton Urban Partners: 4-Star Sylvan Court Expansion courtyard
Hamilton Urban Partners: 4-Star Sylvan Court Expansion laundry room
Hamilton Urban Partners: 4-Star Sylvan Court Expansion exterior

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