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First green student housing project certified to National Green Building Standard.

Cindy Wasser, MBA
September 26, 2013

Tallahasee Community Becomes First NGBS Green Certified Student Housing Project

While already the most widely applicable green building rating system available for residential construction, National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certification can now also be applied to extended-stay hotels, military barracks, and student housing communities. As a continuation of my mini-series of “firsts,” I am profiling Campus Circle Tallahassee Apartment community — the first-ever NGBS Green Certified student housing community. Check out my previous post on the first small remodeling project certified by Home Innovation Research Labs to the 2012 NGBS.

1st NGBS Green Certified Student Housing Project

Campus Circle Tallahassee Apartments, located adjacent to the Florida State University campus, achieved Bronze-level certification to the 2008 NGBS by integrating sustainable materials and design, demonstrating superior energy and water efficiency, and implementing lot design and indoor environmental quality practices. Campus Circle is located close to mass transit and walkable to many community resources, including parks, grocery stores, the main buildings on campus, and restaurants, allowing students to enjoy car-independence. Throughout the buildings, highly-efficient ENERGY STAR® lighting and appliances were incorporated into the design. These high-efficient fixtures reduce the overall energy use of the community, as well as utility costs paid by students and their families.

Campus Circle’s outdoor space boasts luxury, hotel-like features, including a large pool and individual cabana huts for studying and relaxing. The surrounding landscaping and irrigation was carefully planned and designed to be sustainable with native plants and low-volume irrigation systems.

Developer, The Bainbridge Companies, develops and manages properties on the East Coast — D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Florida, New York, North Carolina — as well as Texas. The company is committed to developing luxury student housing communities in walkable locations adjacent to major colleges and universities. Bainbridge’s COO Tom Keady said, "During the development phase of Campus Circle Tallahassee, our goal was to deliver a truly unique community that not only met the standards for green building certification, but brought an experience and product to the market that was unlike any other. Achieving national certification to the NGBS connects with our company’s commitment to quality, service, and integrity." 

Expanded Opportunities to Apply NGBS

NGS Green certification has long been applied to single-family homes, multifamily buildings, and remodel projects. Reacting to new multifamily demands, Home Innovation recently announced that hotels, barracks, and dorms can be NGBS Green Certified. To be eligible, projects must contain sleeping, cooking, and sanitation facilities, like a typical home. Certification fees are the same as for multifamily certification: $200 (or $500) per project and $20 per unit.

If you have questions about whether or not a project can seek NGBS certification, contact us to discuss in advance.

Student Housing Trends

According to a recent article in Multifamily Executive magazine, increased college enrollment, low housing inventory, and a demand for luxury accommodations are fueling the demand for new high-end student housing developments. An increasing number of multifamily developers are jumping into the student housing arena, and in many areas student housing cannot be distinguished from market-rate communities.

Sustainable housing options are becoming a trend on university campuses, and certification to a national standard provides third-party validation of builders' sustainability commitments.

"Student housing projects like Campus Circle Tallahasse, are the future of student housing development," said Michael Luzier, Home Innovation Labs President/CEO. "Builders are building for the environmental lifestyle sought by today's young adults. And, NGBS Green certification recognizes that a project meets a diverse set of environmental criteria, not simply energy efficiency."

Are you seeing sustainable building trends in your local student housing communities? Let me know.

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