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The beginnings of a more sustainable home and lifestyle

October 11, 2019

The Lockwood, like many new residential buildings in Washington DC, has been designed with sustainability as a focus, implementing construction strategies outlined by the United States Green Building Council’s LEED certification process.   The end result is to deliver a more resource-efficient and environmentally conscious building and site.   Some of the features include:

Site Design

A central courtyard and extensive landscaped areas adjacent to the building contribute to open space and enhanced green spaces.  In this urban location, more than 24.8% of the overall site is dedicated as open space.

Bioretention facilities have been installed throughout the open space to help reduce stormwater runoff from the building and site.  The bioretention planters populated with native plant species both retain stormwater onsite and improve filtration and therefore the quality of stormwater.  Stormwater runoff has been reduced by 37% as compared to the pre-development runoff rate calculated for a 2-year 24-hour storm event.    These measures help to mitigate the amount of pollutants entering important water resources such as the Anacostia River.

Energy Efficiency

The building has been designed with energy efficient heat pumps, appliances, plumbing systems and lighting.  LED lighting has been installed throughout the building.  In addition, lighting occupancy sensors in corridors and other common areas are used to further optimize energy performance.

The building has a solar photovoltaic system with more than 480 high efficiency panels installed on the 5th floor roof and penthouse level roof.  The Solar panels are rated for 174 kW of electricity generation capacity.  The solar panels are expected to generate 213,600 kWh of electricity per year which should help offset up to 20% of the energy usage for the building’s common areas.    On especially sunny days, when the panels sometimes generate more electricity than the common areas can utilize, the additional energy is diverted to offset residential unit usage.

The building’s design overall is projected to be approximately 28% more efficient than the building code required ASHRAE 90.1 energy standard. 

Water Efficiency

The project reduces water consumption through low-flow plumbing fixtures and water-efficient landscaping.  The design team specified water-efficient lavatory faucets, kitchen faucets, toilets and showerheads.  The specified fixtures result in 36% water savings compared to the LEED baseline.  This is equivalent to an estimated 2,347,775 gallons of water savings per year.

Furthermore, site landscaping has been designed with native or adaptive plants that don’t require ongoing irrigation after the plants are established.

Materials and Resources

The project conducted construction waste management starting with demolition and continuing all the way to completion of construction.  Construction waste management practices focused on diverting construction waste from disposal and to reuse or recycle of materials.  The result was a diversion rate over of 90% of construction materials.  This represents 1,894 tons of construction waste material diverted from disposal.

Indoor Environmental Quality

The building has a mechanical ventilation system that delivers conditioned fresh air to occupied spaces in the building.  In addition, dwelling units have operable windows for natural ventilation in addition to mechanical ventilation.  

The building has been built with low emitting finishes, including low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants and flooring.  Use of low-emitting finishes eliminates the potential for a number of adverse health effects from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other indoor air pollutants.


The building promotes recycling with enhanced cardboard recycling facilities throughout.

Building Management

The building management is focused on implementing sustainable practices within the building.    With monthly reporting and monitoring of the building’s energy performance, ongoing review of quantities of waste and recycling in the building, and usage of “green” cleaning products, the team is focused on ensuring that the building lives sustainably for the longer term.

The building management team will also be reporting building performance to its residents over time, so that together, new strategies can be imagined and implemented to help reduce the building’s energy usage and to promote an even greener footprint.