Green Building Success in Albuquerque & Santa Fe, New Mexico (3 Examples of Sustainable Construction at Work)

New Mexico is home to some noteworthy green building projects that combine sustainability with style and affordability.

In cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe, we’ve worked with developers and contractors who have embraced the challenge of creating buildings that are not only environmentally friendly but also meet the needs of the local community.

In this blog post, we will explore three successful green building projects in New Mexico, showcasing their unique features and the challenges they overcame to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

Platinum Apartments in Albuquerque: The Best of Luxury and Sustainability

Platinum Apartments, Albuquerque New Mexico

Located at 4100 Silver Ave SE, Albuquerque, the Platinum Luxury Apartments are a prime example of luxury and sustainability coming together. This four-story apartment building features 75 units, including a Yoga/Pilates studio and a community pool table room. The rooftop also boasts a BBQ/Bar area for residents to enjoy.

The project’s design aimed to attract young professionals who value both luxury and sustainability. Through a highly insulated envelope, mini-split HVAC, and a small PV array, the Platinum Apartments achieved an impressive HERS rating of 59. Green Insight’s scope of work included LEED for Homes credit verification, testing during construction, energy efficiency recommendations, and more.

Despite the challenge of a target budget of $110 per square foot, the development team found cost-effective solutions. They used a wood-framed structure with insulation/sheathing similar to what would now be known as a ZIP wall, mini-splits, on-demand water heaters, and a small PV system to power the common areas. The results were remarkable: LEED Platinum Certification, along with tax credits and rebates from various entities.

Villa Alegre Apartments: A Green Oasis in the Heart of Santa Fe

Villa Alegre Apartments Santa Fe New Mexico

Villa Alegre Apartments, constructed by Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority, reflects the city’s commitment to creating beautiful homes and luxury living experiences while lessening the carbon footprint during construction and beyond. With a goal to create a sustainable project with a minimal environmental footprint, all stakeholders had a common goal: to create a sustainable building project with the smallest possible environmental footprint.

The project consists of 111 LEED® for Homes Platinum units, providing affordable housing for families and seniors in Santa Fe. To achieve this goal, Villa Alegre Apartments had to overcome several challenges. However, the project focuses on energy and water efficiency by incorporating a geothermal exchange system, a 240-kilowatt photovoltaic system, ENERGY STAR windows, high-efficiency lighting fixtures, and blown insulation.

Villa Alegre Apartments’ upgrades resulted in all units achieving a 32 or better Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index score and ENERGY STAR qualification. These achievements go beyond sustainability. The public supported it, and the project rehabilitated the downtown Santa Fe area while exceeding the 2030 Challenge.

Villa Alegre Apartments in Santa Fe, a pioneering project, showcases the value of LEED certification in creating truly green and sustainable projects. From affordable housing to a luxury living experience, this project is a testament to the city’s commitment to sustainability.

Hotel Clovis: A Unique Adaptive Reuse Project in Clovis, New Mexico

Hotel Clovis, Clovis, New Mexico

Located at 201 N Main St in Clovis, New Mexico, Hotel Clovis is an exceptional example of an adaptive reuse project that combines historic preservation with sustainable design. This 9-story historic registered hotel has been transformed into an affordable housing project, featuring rental lofts and commercial space. The project faced challenges due to environmental degradation and historic registration, but innovative solutions were implemented to overcome these obstacles.

The Hotel Clovis project stands out for its unique style and commitment to historic preservation. The building, originally constructed in 1929, was at risk of demolition before Tierra Realty Trust acquired the development rights. Closed-cell insulation was added to the envelope without altering its historic character. Trickle vents for unit ventilation were incorporated into the windows, and a whole-building ventilation system was installed. Nanogel was also added to the plaster in the historic ballroom to achieve required insulation levels.

Hotel Clovis prioritized sustainability and energy efficiency, earning it LEED Platinum certification. A photovoltaic system was installed on the roof, generating electricity to power the hotel’s common spaces and the new buildings. Additionally, the project incorporated passive solar orientation in 80% of the units to leverage natural heating and lighting.

The successful transformation of Hotel Clovis into a LEED Platinum affordable housing project showcases the value of adaptive reuse and historic preservation. It serves as a shining example for future projects, combining sustainability and style in a unique and memorable way.

Green Building Success in New Mexico

These three green building projects in New Mexico showcase the incredible success and innovation that can be achieved in sustainable construction. From luxury apartments in Albuquerque to affordable housing in Santa Fe and adaptive reuse in Clovis, each project overcame unique challenges to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

Not only have these buildings contributed to the development of a greener New Mexico, but they have also set inspiring examples for future sustainable construction projects across the state.

Want to find the perfect solution for your sustainable living project?

If so, contact us today. We would love to discuss your project and your goals while showing you how Green Insight can help you achieve green building success. Get in touch

Hotel Clovis Earns LEED for Homes Platinum Certification

The city of Clovis, New Mexico sits just 9 miles west of the border of Texas and is called home to almost 40,000 people. A large agricultural community, Clovis is surrounded by large peanut and cotton farms as well as busy cattle ranches.

At the city’s heart sits the Art Deco gem, the Hotel Clovis. Built in 1931, this 10-story former hotel earned the distinction of being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.  Its hospitality days long over, Hotel Clovis is now used as both a residential and commercial piece of real estate.

Project Details

Hotel Clovis now boasts 31 rental lofts and 8,000 square feet of commercial space. Two new buildings have been added to its ranks to increase Hotel Clovis to half a city block while providing an additional 28 dwelling units.

During the renovation of this historic building, Green Insight was brought in to consult with developers and contractors to create a state-of-the-art environmentally responsible project while maintaining the building’s historic charm.

We worked with developer Tierra Realty Trust and contractor Century Communities II to help the team:

  • Earn LEED for Homes credit
  • Test during construction
  • Pass quality assurance review
  • Make energy-efficient recommendations
  • Make building material assessments
  • Review construction documents and specifics
  • Review all project submittals

Project Challenges

Before Tierra Realty Trust acquired development rights for the building, the city of Clovis had slated to demolish the historic building due to findings that rehabilitation of the building would be cost prohibitive to the city.

With its proven track record of successfully turning historic buildings into sustainable housing communities, Tierra Realty Trust acquired the rights after numerous other developers looked at rehabilitation over the course of many years, but it ultimately backed away from the challenges the building posed.

One of the biggest challenges the developer faced was air infiltration through the building’s envelope, which could not be modified in any way due to its historically registered status. An additional challenge was meeting the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standard 62.2 which governs indoor air quality, and ventilation specifically.

Project Solutions

To combat the building envelope issue, Green Insight recommended adding interior closed-cell insulation to the block and brick veneer exterior walls. Nano gel was added to the plaster on the first floor and the grand historic ballroom to increase the insulation level as high as possible while maintaining historic finishes. To meet ventilation standards, they added trickle vents cut into the window and the whole building’s ventilation system was plumbed to very high-efficiency variable speed exhaust fans which also maintained the historic exterior.

To ensure sustainability in the building, a 35kW photovoltaic system was installed on the roof of all of the newly constructed buildings to power the common spaces and new buildings at Hotel Clovis. In all, 80% of the units in these new buildings have a passive solar orientation.

Project Results

By collaborating with Green Insight, developers and contractors were able to meet and exceed their goals of sustainable energy while maintaining the building’s historical integrity. This collaboration resulted in:

  • LEED for Homes Platinum Certification
  • A New Mexico Sustainable Building Tax Credit of $525,825
  • A Historic Preservation Tax Credit of $118,248

Ultimately, the vision and work of all teams resulted in the successful adaptive reuse of a depression-era hotel that was slated to be demolished. It now stands as a model of sustainability with historic charm right in the heart of Clovis.

Ready to see how Green Insight can find the best solution for your green building project?

Get in touch with us today so we can discuss your project and goals while showing you how we can help you achieve green building success. Get in touch