Old Town Commons Development
The Old Town Commons development is a public-private partnership in Alexandria, VA serving a diverse mix of residents. A total of five phases will add 159 market-rate townhomes, 86 market-rate condos and 134 subsidized apartments. The exterior design mimics the surrounding neighborhood and maintains historic character, while open floor plans and gourmet kitchens in the market-rate units serve modern lifestyles.
The compact development is within walking distance of major transportation lines, office buildings, nightlife, and entertainment in historic Old Town Alexandria.
Steven Winter Associates, Inc. provided Energy Modeling, Sustainability Consulting, and Program Certification Services to the project.
Energy Conservation Features:
The landscaping for this development includes drought tolerant plants and minimized turf. Low-flow faucets, toilets and showerheads will reduce water use by over 30% while also helping to reduce hot water heating costs.
Energy Efficiency and Indoor Comfort
On average, the townhomes are 20% more energy efficient than code-built homes and the multifamily apartment buildings are 25% more efficient. Reduced envelope infiltration, 100% compact fluorescent lighting, ENERGY STAR appliances, and high-efficiency mechanical equipment are all factors of the improved performance. Each unit has mechanical ventilation, timer-controlled exhaust, and high-performance windows contributing to increased indoor air quality.
Inspection and Performance Testing
Steven Winter Associates worked with the builder from design through completion to pass rigorous performance tests and improve construction quality and consistency. Beginning with energy modeling, building details were analyzed to determine how to optimize performance while staying within the project budget. Insulation and air-sealing details were improved to meet LEED requirements and lower energy bills. SWA trained staff on-site about proper air sealing, duct sealing, and insulation installation techniques, resulting in estimated infiltration and duct leakage decreases of 35 – 50%.
As part of the third-party verification process, all units are inspected to ensure systems are installed properly, all water saving features are installed, and indoor air quality measures are met. These inspections allow for corrections prior to occupant move-in resulting in decreased call-backs and potential homeowner dissatisfaction.