Avenue has been committed to incorporating resilience, environmental/green and healthy building practices into our design and construction programs for many years. Our new community hub in Near Northside is no exception. Thanks to a generous grant from Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, we are able to expand our sustainable footprint at Avenue Center, incorporating solar energy amenities that would otherwise not have been possible.
The sustainable upgrades include more than 35 kilowatts (kW) total of solar to reduce energy costs, as well as an electric vehicle, electric vehicle charging stations and bike racks to provide and promote clean methods of transportation. Showers will also be installed on-site to enable and encourage bicycle commuting by Avenue Center tenants. The building is also advantageously located on METRO’s Redline, further helping to encourage the use of public transit.
Avenue Center’s rooftop solar array will be 30 kW and the parking canopy will be 5.2 kW, which together is the equivalent of planting 1,112 trees or 8,500 households turning off their lights for an entire year. Driving an electric vehicle, powered by 100 percent renewable energy, removes just over 10,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year, which is like planting 200 trees annually.
We are proud that Avenue has been recognized for building to green standards by the Urban Land Institute and Houston Galveston Area Council. These standards, which are incorporated into all of our affordable developments, include energy efficient design (windows, insulation, etc.), Energy Star HVAC and appliances, low-flow toilets and showers, environmentally-friendly insulation, carpet and flooring from recycled materials (when possible), low VOC paint and flood-resistant landscaping. We understand that these amenities are not just essential for creating healthier communities – they also help improve the quality of life for our working families through cost savings and healthier living environments.