Finally, Americans are serious about sustainable living. From the cars we drive to the air we breathe, the green movement is now firmly rooted in our psyches. As a result, multifamily owners and developers are getting serious about sustainability too. There’s no better example of this thinking than electric vehicles (EVs).
In 2009, the Department of Energy awarded $2.4 billion in stimulus money to various entities to build EVs and to develop a charging station infrastructure to support them. An estimated 20 EV models, including the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, are expected to hit the marketplace and roadways by 2012, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association. And 40 million plug-in EVs are expected to be on the road by 2030.
All those cars need a place to charge, and Alliance Communities is one of the first multifamily owners to recognize the demand. The Phoenix-based company has installed the first EV charging station at Broadstone Grand Avenue, a 280-unit, Class A market-rate apartment community in Austin, Texas. Called the ChargePoint, the charging station is available for use by residents 24/7 and by the public during leasing office hours.
Sustainable Studs: Manufactured with 100 percent recycled plastic, the EcoStud Track and Stud System is appropriate for non–load-bearing exterior walls and interior partition walls. The insulating properties of plastic eliminate cold spots, reduce sound transmission, and improve R-values. Installation requires common tools and standard fasteners. For more information, call Superior Polymer at 877-586-5543 or visit www.superiorpolymer.com.
Wood, Reincarnated: JELD-WEN’s Custom Wood line features reclaimed-wood windows and doors. The units are made from Douglas fir that was originally used for fencing, barns, houses, and factories. For more information, call JELD-WEN at 800-877-9482 or visit www.jeld-wen.com.
Clearing the Air: CertainTeed has launched one of the first gypsum board/drywall products that removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—specifically, formaldehydes—that circulate indoors. The product, dubbed AirRenew, is designed to work for 75 years and contributes toward project LEED certification. For more information, call CertainTeed at 800-233-8990 or visit www.certainteed.com.
Rack and Roll: Madrax custom bike racks offer unlimited creativity, from color to shape to size, making them not only functional but fun. The stainless steel racks are made of up to 90 percent recycled material and are produced using the basic oxygen furnace process, which uses a minimum of 25 percent recycled steel. For more information, call Madrax at 608-849-1080 or visit www.madrax.com.
Sticky Situation: MP Global Products’ UltraLayer Peel & Stick is a self-adhesive acoustic and protective membrane designed for use under ceramic tile, porcelain tile, and natural stone flooring. The product is engineered to reduce the need for thinset mortar, cleanup, and drying time. Made primarily of recycled textile and carpet fibers diverted from landfills, it is odorless and hypo-allergenic. For more information, call MP Global Products at 888-379-9695 or visit www.quietwalk.com.
Charged Up: Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint charging station allows electric-vehicle owners to “fill up” at their convenience. The station requires a dedicated electrical line and enough space for car access. It offers dual outputs that can deliver two charges simultaneously—one at 120 volts and the other at 240 volts. For more information, call Coulomb Technologies at 877-370-3802 or visit www.coulombtech.com.