Sept. 23, 2016, Ithaca, New York – Kendal at Ithaca announced Friday that its 24 new independent living apartment residences have been awarded Gold-level LEED certification. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.
Construction of the LEED-certified 24-unit apartment building [photos available upon request], with 38 new covered parking spaces, was completed in February as part of a $29.3 million expansion and enhancement of the nonprofit continuing care retirement community. The 24 new apartments—with modern amenities, high-end finishes and appliances—bring the total number of independent living residences on campus to 236.
“Our plan for the project, from the very beginning, was to strive for LEED certification, and to achieve Gold status is great news!” said Dan Governanti, Executive Director of Kendal at Ithaca. “Kendal at Ithaca is proud to have achieved this certification. Our community has worked hard to be a leader in sustainability, whether in our kitchen composting program, the detergents and other cleaning products we use, or our Earth-friendly integrated pest management.”
Located on 105 acres above Lake Cayuga, Kendal at Ithaca welcomed its first resident in 1995 and undertook its first expansion project in the winter of 2014. The entire expansion and enhancement project is slated for completion in early 2017.
“This certification is a big honor for Kendal at Ithaca and the result of a true team effort spanning several years. We had expected a silver level certification but were, in fact, stretching to go for the gold,” said Stephen Bailey, Project Director for The Kendal Corporation. “Kendal at Ithaca staff, the contractor, our sustainability consultant and the design team had to design and build this space to LEED standards and then provide the energy modeling and tons of documentation to USGBC to win this recognition for their efforts.”
Kendal at Ithaca has been recognized as a “Sign of Sustainability” in Tompkins County multiple times and maintaining that commitment to sustainability has been an ongoing objective of the expansion project. The community achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in:
- Water Savings—Water-efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures conserve both water and energy (from reduced pumping, treatment and domestic water heating). Energy Star dishwashers and clothes washers have been installed, which reduce water consumption, as well as energy consumption, by more than 20 percent compared to national standards.
- Heating, Cooling and Ventilation—The apartments are well insulated and are equipped with high-efficiency condensing gas furnaces, split-system air conditioners and tightly sealed ductwork. Windows have coatings to reduce heat loss during cold weather and manage solar heat gain in the summer.
- Appliances and Lighting—All appliances and lighting are Energy Star rated and motion- and light-sensors are used to reduce unneeded lighting in unoccupied areas and where natural light is available.
- Materials and Resources—Reducing waste, incorporating low-impact materials and limiting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are all major objectives for green building materials. All paints, primers, and adhesives used meet LEED’s low VOC requirements. The carpeting and padding installed meets Green Label standards. A Recycling and Waste Management Plan developed for the project reduced impacts on area landfills by recycling 65 percent of construction waste.
- Indoor Environmental Quality—All heating and cooling equipment is airtight so that nothing can be vented inside the apartments, which also use continuous low-level exhaust with natural infiltration. To manage potential radon risks, the apartment building incorporates best practices for passive radon resistance, with below slab piping extending through the building and through the roof. Carbon monoxide detectors are installed, in addition to smoke alarms, throughout the building. Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans vent directly outside to remove moisture, smells and pollutants.
“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most-important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on nonsustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The work of innovative building projects, such as Kendal at Ithaca’s expansion project, is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”
Kendal at Ithaca offers a life care contract that provides the peace of mind that comes from having access to high-quality health care at a predictable cost that is a fraction of private pay rates. The community’s location near both Cornell University and Ithaca College allows residents to take in extensive cultural, educational and recreational activities.