Changing Aging Blog

Building Green Senior Housing
Date: Dec 11th, 2009 11:13am


Eric Schubert

It's an environmentally friendly Christmas tree at the new senior housing community developed by Ecumen in Bemidji, Minnesota for North Country Health Services.  Each item on this tree at the WindSong community is pre-used.  It was built to celebrate the submission of WoodsEdge for LEED (Leadership Energy Efficient Design) Certification. 

WoodsEdge features a number of art pieces made with reused items.  For example the entrance lobby features a sculpture made from a barn door and grain elevator.  There are a number of other energy-efficient features, such as: 

- Apartments are heated and cooled by 120 200-foot-deep geothermal wells. 

-There are three natural gas fired boilers in the building - one for sterilizing dishes in the kitchen, one to keep the driveway to the underground garage from icing up and one for backup.

- The building materials came from a radius of no more than 500 miles to save on transport and fuel.

- Three trees were planted to replace each tree cut for lumber.

- Concrete surfaces are limited and green space is emphasized to restrict light reflection.

- Outside lights are also focused downwards to cut light pollution.

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