Biggest Green Multifamily Housing Project (Sort Of)

In Florida, a big green multifamily housing development seeks to accommodate today’s consumers, who may not be seeking the responsibilities of home ownership—especially with the state’s real estate market remaining, largely, in the tank—but looking for a signature place to call their own.

SeaBourn Cove in Boynton Beach, consisting of multiple phases over the next three years, is expected to generate over 300 new jobs for the area and will be pursuing Gold level certification from the National Green Building Program (NAHBGreen) from the National Association of Homebuilders.

multifamily green development, seabourn cove

image via SeaBourn Cove

Like the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program, NGBP certification awards points for good green behavior in areas like sustainable siting, energy efficiency, recycled building materials, and renewable energy. Unlike LEED, NGBP certification does not require core requirements to be met in certain areas, but allows builders to reach the scores necessary to achieve certification via any viable combination of points.

The development is being spearheaded by The Housing Group with Two Trails acting as the green consultant. The development will be two to three stories high and feature single units around 800 square feet in size to 3 bedroom units that include parking garages, according to Two Trails. Both families and those living singly will call the development home, with 456 units total.

Much is being made of the fact that the project will pursue the highest level of green certification for a multi-unit of this size in the U.S. under the National Green Building Program. However, all the breathless excitement concerning this “new, exciting, and innovating” development “spreading the message of sustainable building and healthy living” seems a bit disingenuous, as major multifamily housing developments earning comparable (and, some would say, more rigorous) LEED certification are increasingly more common.

Still, it’s good to see a development of this size embracing third-party green certification in a state hit hard by the housing crash, and where green building has yet to become mainstream.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.