Midway Park homes go green
The Marine Corps is working toward going green, and we're not talking camouflage.
Land has been cleared and the construction process is beginning on the first phase of a 537-home project aboard Camp Lejeune's base housing in Midway Park that will feature sustainable homes.
Each of the homes will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, which is a rating system used to promote the design and construction of high-performing, sustainable homes by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The rating system measures overall performance of a home in eight different categories: innovation and design process; location and linkages; sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials and resources; indoor environmental quality; and awareness and education.
"The homes have less impact on the environmental health for the families to live in and economically in the long run ... will be cheaper to operate," said Matt Lynn, deputy project manager with Atlantic Marine Corps Communities.
Once complete, the Midway Park neighborhood will be the largest neighborhood in North Carolina to be comprised of all LEED-certified homes and the first on a Marine Corps base. Army bases in Hawaii and Texas are the only other military installations with LEED homes.
"I think if the Marine Corps is taking the lead, they can really set the bar for the other armed forces," Lynn said. "We feel like the LEED homes should be a standard of practice in the industry."
LEED homes boast lower utility costs through use of energy efficient features, recycled materials and repurposed natural elements - such as water runoff, which will be naturally filtered using water retention swells to reduce pollution.
"We're reusing as much of the existing infrastructure as possible so that reduces the amount of resources we're using on the project," Lynn said. "So we're reducing the use of virgin material."
The LEED homes will replace Midway Park's existing single-story, less than 1,000 square-foot cottage style homes that were constructed in the 1940s.
The new homes will be between 1,600 and 1,700 square feet and have three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two-car garage, a patio and a screened-in porch.
"So we're actually doubling the size of the homes for them while providing a sustainable environment," said Dixie Lanier, strategic marketing manager with AMCC. "They're going to be really nice for our junior enlisted people ... so it's quite a good upgrade from what they've currently got."
Although the existing homes will be demolished, the neighborhood will keep existing road patterns to help with overall infrastructure patterns. This will also save trees and minimize dust and noise, according to a press release from AMCC.
Because the new homes are being built on a previously constructed site, the site is considered sustainable because little or no additional natural resources had to be removed, Lynn said.
"It really starts with a sustainable site, and this site is a previously built site," Lynn said.
Waste from the demolition such as concrete and wood is being used in other projects in an effort to divert it from area landfills, Lynn said.
While sustainable homes cost more to construct, it is only a "marginal" difference, Lynn said.
"We feel like, and I think the (Marine) Corps agrees, that a little bit of extra dollars is worth it in the long term to the residents and the project company," Lynn said.
The first phase of 132 homes is expected to be complete and occupied by January 2010.
"We're thrilled to be able to provide these homes to the junior enlisted and their families," Lynn said. "We're really looking forward to turning over the first homes and getting people in these things."