Olympic contenders aren't the only ones going for gold right now. After last week's high-profile groundbreaking for Boston Wharf Tower, a new Fort Point Channel residential building, Kelly Saito, the president of the building's developer, Gerding Edlen, says it's where the company's sights are set when it comes to certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
"Gold is always the goal with our developments," Saito says of the LEED status. "We consider sustainability, legitimate elements of efficiency and conservation to the maximum extent as possible. That includes the minimal use of energy both in the way a building works when it's completed and in the way we work creating it. It also means using materials that are not scarce, but are rapidly renewable."
Platinum certification is the highest LEED grading, gold is second. Still, Portland, Ore.-based Gerding Edlen is considered a leader in sustainably designed developments. The company is also developing nearby 63 Melcher as apartments.
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Boston Wharf Tower is a working title for the new project at 319 A St. in Fort Point Channel. Saito says it will likely gain a real name as the project develops. This 20-story tower will include 202 apartments and will open in the fall of 2013. At street level, plans are for community spaces that are flexible enough to add retail later. for more information, visit www.gerdingedlen.com
The groundbreaking gave a peek at future homes in Boston Wharf Tower via Fort Point art-ist Karen Stein's mock unit (shown, inset), created as a one-day-only installation.
"Karen replicated a small studio unit. It was dimensionally accurate, but the rest was an artistic interpretation," says Saito. "It allowed us to connect with the artistic community. It wasn't a strategic decision; it's what we are as a company. Philosophically, that's how we approach projects. The more engagement with the community, the better."