Going for Gold

LEED CertificationPierce is committed to making our residents’ lives healthier and happier. A commitment to LEED Gold certification is just proof of our dedication. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the benchmark by which most of the world’s buildings are rated for sustainability – and buildings must meet a high level of criteria in order to receive the Gold rating. LEED provides a roadmap for designing more efficient, healthy, and economical buildings and building systems.

An ideal location for greener commuters, Pierce has a Walk Score of 94. That’s 25 points higher than Arlington’s average and 18 points higher than D.C.’s average. Within half a mile, you’ll discover restaurants, retail and grocery stores, fitness centers and public parks, 3 Metro lines (Orange, Blue, Silver), 2 Metrobus routes, and 2 Arlington Transit routes.

Pierce is also within a bike network featuring designated bike lanes and streets with speed limits under 25 mph. Travel to restaurants, shopping, and more is easy. As is commuting via bike! Plus, bike storage is provided for over almost 400 bikes.

Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles also have a special home at Pierce. The garage features 30 ENERGY STAR Certified Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.

Pierce’s outdoor spaces and lighting fixtures have all been designed to use less resources, produce less light pollution, and provide a better experience for residents. This includes timer-controlled fixtures to prevent lighting of unoccupied spaces and lighter-colored pavers on the rooftop and terraces to decrease temperatures caused by the urban heat island effect.

Water conservation is also important, both in the outdoor spaces at Pierce and in each residence. Outdoor greenery has been purposefully designed and will be landscaped to require 55% less water than a similarly sized traditional design. Indoor low-flow plumbing fixtures save over 13 million gallons of water each year—enough to fill over 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. ENERGY STAR Certified washing machine, dishwashers, and refrigerators also conserve water and electricity.

Whole-building energy modeling has been performed to optimize the totality of Pierce’s energy usage. All building materials have also been carefully considered for their lifetime impact on the environment and, by extension, resident health. Using optimized fixtures, appliances, building materials, and systems, Pierce’s design has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 1,647 metric tons of CO2 per year. That would take 2,340 acres of forest to absorb, and is the equivalent energy usage of 206 homes.

Pierce uses MERV 13 filters, removing most particulates—pollen, smoke, pet dander, dust mites, mold, bacteria, and some viruses— from indoor air. CO2 sensors have been installed in amenity spaces to monitor carbon dioxide levels and adjust outdoor air delivery accordingly. To further benefit the health of residents, only low-emitting materials (paints, flooring, ceiling systems, etc.) have been used. These materials comply with the California Department of Public Health’s emissions standard and have received GREENGUARD Gold Certification.

Third-party testing will be used to verify all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are operating as intended. After 10 months of occupancy, Pierce will be tested again to ensure all systems are still functioning properly.