Receiving an LEED Platinum rating is the highest level of sustainability offered in the US, and is awarded by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). These buildings are the greenest of green buildings, and most efficient of high efficiency buildings. This super power of sustainability can leave us wondering – How do they do it? An article on Green Building Pro written by Christine Rombouts sheds some light on strategies used by a recent LEED Platinum building in LA.

West 27thPlace, a USC student housing community, has just received a LEED Platinum rating—the highest level of sustainability possible. It is one of a handful of Platinum certified developments in Los Angeles and one of the only student housing projects in the nation achieving this milestone.

The mixed-use community includes 161 apartment units and was developed by CityView and Symphony Development. The project, which opened for the fall semester and is fully leased, is now owned by Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors, the private equity real estate arm of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors that invests in specialized real estate sectors.

Top 10 Strategies West 27th used to obtain LEED Platinum.

1) With West 27th Place, Symphony Development recycled nearly 95 percent of its construction waste. Now completed, the building includes a permanent on-site recycling program.

2) All units have low flow water fixtures and the appliances are Energy Star rated right down to the exhaust fan in the bathroom.

3) West 27th Place is located near several forms of public transportation, including the bus, Expo light rail line and the university’s tram system. Residents don’t need a car!

4) The community utilizes motion sensor lighting in its common areas. This eliminates any unnecessary use of electricity for lighting.

5) All walls, windows and roofs at West 27th Place have the highest levels of insulation. Maintenance crews test all of the air conditioning and vent ducts to make sure they are as air tight as possible.

6) A modular framing system was used in constructions. The walls were built off site, and assembled upon delivery to the job. This minimized wood waste and increased construction efficiency.

7) All drywall waste was recycled, with the gypsum used for farming and new drywall manufacturing.

8 ) West 27th Place has joined forces with “Plant a Billion” and for every $1 donated, they plant a tree. There is a donation bucket in the leasing office.

9) Bricks from the original building were deconstructed, cleaned and recycled.

10) Landscaping consists of drought tolerant plants and the furniture and carpeting are formaldehyde free and made with recycled content in nearby factories.

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