Roebling Lofts is targeting LEED Gold certification, and will be one of a handful of residences in NJ to achieve this level. It’s a challenging target, one that demands hundreds of individual actions that collectively make it a healthy, energy efficient, and sustainable place to live. From ultra-efficient HVAC systems to thermal windows and solar-mesh window treatments; built-in LED work lighting to low-VOC finishes, and hundreds of other “green” details, Roebling Lofts is being built to the highest standards, unusual for any rental project, and unprecedented for rentals in our price range. Here are just a few of the literally hundreds of actions we’ve taken to make Roebling Lofts a green, sustainable project.
Ultra Efficient HVAC/Windows
Roebling Lofts will be installing ultra-efficient VRF HVAC technology. Unlike conventional HVAC, which is either “on” or “off”, VRF (“variable refrigerant flow”) technology allows the unit to work precisely at the level needed. Even more remarkably, a single unit will support multiple apartments, which may have different heating loads at the same time: for example, an apartment on the “sunny side” of the building may need to be cooled, while one in the shade may need heat. Roebling Loft’s advanced VRF units can take advantage of this situation, pumping the excess heat from the sunny unit (to cool it), thereby warming the shady unit. No extra energy is wasted to generate heat.
All lofts come with massive windows: on the western and eastern facades (the long faces, where most lofts have their windows), they are 10’10” wide and up to 14′ tall. All windows are thermally insulated. Every window is equipped with shades to control heat gain and loss. You can raise the shades to maximize solar heat gain in the winter, and lower the shades to minimize gain in the summer.
All windows have an awning-style panel which you can open to take in fresh air from the outside. And all lofts have a ceiling fan above the double-height area to provide pleasant, natural circulation in the spring and summer, and provide a downdraft in the winter to keep heat uniform in the living area, instead of collecting near the ceiling.
Renewable, Low-VOC Materials and Finishes
Many conventional building materials vent volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) for extended periods of time. For example, formaldehyde is often added to plywood, which then leads to the added formaldehyde off-gassing. Paints, finishes, certain types of plastics, cabinets and countertops will also emit VOC’s based on their content. VOC emissions lead to a degradation of indoor air quality and long term exposure to these materials is detrimental to human health.
The flooring, cabinets, countertops, and other finishes in Roebling Lofts have all been carefully selected to minimize VOCs. They are also selected to maximize the use of recycled or renewable resources. For example, the strand-woven bamboo flooring has the appearance and wear characteristics of hardwoods, but grows much more quickly so that harvested bamboo is quickly regrown. Vanity countertops are made from recycled glass; kitchen counters are made from recycled sawdust and resins. Paints and finishes are no or low-VOC.