Founder’s Row — An Efficient & Healthy Community in the DC Metro Area

Market: Multifamily & Commercial
Type: Mid-rise, Residential and Retail, Senior Housing
Location: Falls Church, VA
Developer/Owner: Mill Creek Residential Trust (MCRT)
Architect: WDG Architecture
Building Size: Main building: 368,849 SF; Age-restricted building: 86,477 SF
Project Services: National Green Building Standard® (NGBS) Green Certification
Certification: Main building: Silver level; Age-restricted building: Gold level

Project Background:

Founder’s Row is a two-building, mixed-use development outside of Washington, DC. The main building includes 322 market-rate units and retail space, including a movie theater and restaurants. The age-restricted building contains 72 units reserved for residents age 55 and older. The community’s amenities include a fitness center, outdoor courtyards with a pool and a dog run, recreation spaces, and a business center. Founder’s Row is close to bus lines—which provide access to the DC Metro—and the historic Washington and Old Dominion Bike Trail.

Project Services:

MCRT invited SWA to join the project team to determine the best green building certification program to pursue for the project, develop plans to achieve certification, and conduct testing and inspections to show compliance.

The project team decided to pursue Gold level NGBS Green Certification from Home Innovation Research Labs for the age-restricted building, which was above and beyond the Silver level certification for the main building. This prompted additional discussion about what would be needed to achieve the higher certification level.

SWA initiated a discussion with the design team and recommended certification credits that added points with the most value to the project. Some of these credits required very little design changes, but added a lot of value, such as performance testing.

Primary Energy Conservation Measures: 

  • Compared to the baseline, the main building achieved 21% energy savings, and the age-restricted building achieved 26% savings. This was accomplished by constructing a highly insulated building envelope; selecting ENERGY STAR® appliances; and installing high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment.
  • The team ensured optimal indoor air quality by using low-VOC plywood, paints, adhesives, carpet, and insulation. In fact, 85% of these materials used were certified low VOC. Closet shelving and kitchen counters were also constructed with non-emitting materials.
  • SWA verified low air infiltration levels through performance testing and ensured that bathroom exhaust fans meet ventilation requirements.
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