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  • Las Abuelitas 'grandfamily' housing achieves LEED Platinum certification

    Jul 16, 2014 | Read More News
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    An innovative apartment complex in South Tucson built to provide affordable rental housing for grandparents raising grandchildren has received LEED Platinum certification.

    Las AbuelitasLEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. Platinum is the highest possible rating.

    Pima County donated the land at 440 E. 26th St., where Primavera Foundation developed Las Abuelitas Family Housing, on the condition that the project remain affordable for low-income households for at least 30 years. The project was financed in part by federal HOME and Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds administered by the County.

    Poster Frost Mirto Inc. was the architect and Lloyd Construction Co. was the contractor for the project, which was completed in November 2013.

    Las Abuelitas is a complex of 12 single-story, two- and three-bedroom homes with a central courtyard and community building.

    A rooftop photovoltaic solar system provides electricity for all the units and the community center. Every unit also has solar hot water. The roofs have high insulation values. Metal shade structures cover south-facing windows. All windows, appliances and light fixtures are Energy Star rated.

    The residential units have an average Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 2.25. HERS is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical resale home scores 130 on the HERS Index while a home built to the 2004 International Energy Conservation Code is awarded a rating of 100. The lower a home’s HERS Index Score, the more energy efficient it is.

    Four of Las Abuelitas’ units scored zero or lower, meaning they produce as much energy as they consume.

    For more information about the work of the Pima County Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation Department, please visit its website.