Maryland apartment building wins award for energy efficiency

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced this morning the recipient of a coveted honor recognizing excellence in environmentally-friendly design.

The USGBC National Capital Region (NCR) 2012 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Project of the Year designation was awarded to a Blair Towns, aproject that has helped to revitalize downtown Silver Springs, Maryland.

Constructed just outside of Washington D.C. in 2004, Blair Towns was designated the first LEED Certified multi-family residential project in the country.{I would try switching some of this information around to make it more concise within a single paragraph}

The residence complex continued to receive plaudits after its construction, including its designation the first LEED Platinum residential development in 2011.  Blair Towns received the award following a 2009 transportation study that showed residents of the tower were 75 percent more prone to opt out of using their car in their daily commute compared to others in the city.

"The 2012 Awards of Excellence judges consistently cited the complexity of achieving LEED EBOM Platinum in a residential setting, and being the first to do so since no adaptation existed," said Emily Zimmerman, Executive Director, USGBC NCR, in a press release, adding that the USGBC is, "pleased to give this year's award to a project and company that continues to test the bounds of what's possible."

Blair Towns is part of a larger urban-campus known as The Blairs, which was developed by Tower Companies as an energy efficient live-work-play infill project to revitalize downtown Silver Springs, according to the press release. The Blair Towns portion of the project includes 78 multi-family units in a low-rise structure.

Maryland residents don't need to look toward newly-constructed developments like Blair Towns to reap the benefits of an energy efficient lifestyle. A home inspection and energy audit for older properties can highlight ways to weatherproof and conserve energy in a home, and can even potentially tell a homeowner how they can successfully seek an LEED certification.