Traditional Neighborhood Development and LEED Go Hand in Hand

May 6, 2008

The New La Rosa Authentic Mexican KitchenIn the 1980’s, New Urbanism catapulted into the national consciousness. Today, a site called The Town Paper lists hundreds of Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) Neighborhoods from all over the world. And this surge of interest in mixed use planning may be helping pull environmental building practices into the spotlight.
One of The Town Paper’s TND neighborhoods is NorthWest Crossing in Bend, Oregon. NorthWest Crossing is the largest mixed use community in Oregon; it won a 2007 Development of Excellence Award from the Urban Land Institute of Oregon/SW Washington, and was recognized in 2006 as the Most Successful Development in Oregon by BUILDERnews Magazine.

Like most TNDs, NorthWest Crossing is a walkable community. It provides easy access to the Bend Area Transit bus system, and is focused on preserving the natural landscape.  Its progressive planning practices extend to green building. Every home in NorthWest Crossing is required to be Earth Advantage Certified (for a discussion of Earth Advantage, see “What Does it Mean to Build Green?”). One of NorthWest Crossing’s commercial properties (which will house the New La Rosa Authentic Mexican Kitchen) recently earned LEED-CS Silver certification — a designation that was actually higher than the standard certification originally expected. According to David Ford, general manager for NorthWest Crossing,

To receive a higher-level rating from LEED than we were initially pursuing was exciting for everyone involved in this project. This certification just reinforces our commitment as a community, on both the residential and commercial sides, to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices.

The building also won the Grand Award for Green Building in the 2008 Awards of Excellence administered by the National Commercial Builders Council (NCBC) of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). 

Consumers’ rising interest in traditional neighborhood design coincides with their rising interest in sustainability, so developers are making green design part of their package. And harnessing the collective action of entire communities should make it possible for an increasingly broad range of building types to go green.

Photo Credit: NorthWest Crossing

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