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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gish Apartments, San Jose, United States

Gish Apartments by OJK claims Top Ten Green Projects 2009 position
Completed in June 2007, Gish Apartments in downtown San Jose is a 35-unit transit-oriented family apartment complex that provides quality affordable housing for households earning 35%–50% of the area median income. The complex includes efficiency, two-bedroom, three-bedroom apartments. Over a third of the apartments (13 of them) are set aside for residents with developmental disabilities. The complex is a model for the State of California's Multifamily Housing Program for mainstreaming special needs populations.

The mixed-use plan includes a convenience store and a beauty salon on the ground floor. Residents have access to a computer center and are provided with services tailored to support low-income families, such as financial literacy training, computer training, and after-school programs. Housing Choices Coalition provides coordination of services for residents who have developmental disabilities, and facilitates communication among these residents, their case managers, and the property management team.

Gish Apartments is a groundbreaking development both for its architectural design and in its use of renewable energy technologies and other green building features. Gish is the only affordable housing development in the U.S. to receive both LEED for Homes and LEED for New Construction Gold certification.

Further environmental aspects of the project include reuse of an urban brownfield site, a roof-top photovoltaic array, high performance insulation in 2x6 exterior walls, double-glazed windows, and high-efficiency heating and hot water systems. The initial costs associated with energy-saving features and durable materials are being offset by lower operational costs.

This project was chosen as an AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Project for 2009. It was submitted by OJK Architecture and Planning in San Jose, California. Additional project team members are listed on the "Process" screen.
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