Former real estate developer, author, and now a founder/principal of the newly-formed sustainable/consulting firm Melaver McIntosh, Martin Melaver brings us the story of Sustainable Fellwood, a community housing project that is one of only a handful in the nation to be LEED certified.
Well, here’s one more for the list: the story of Sustainable Fellwood. It’s quite a tale, even without a Mustang Sally soundtrack.
Fellwood was one of the first public housing projects built in the US (1940). It was also built in my hometown, Savannah, GA ─- just a mile from City Hall but a cultural millennium from the white upper crust that inhabit the city’s historic downtown core area. In 2006, Fellwood was razed, and my company was tapped to serve as the master developer for a restoration effort. Sustainable Fellwood was born.
This project had all the elements it needed to become a true sustainability success story. For one thing, it’s one of only three HUD projects in the nation that’s LEED-certified and one of a handful of green mixed-income, mixed-use projects in the LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot program. It’s a project that extends beyond simple green building strategies to incorporate a handful of services having to do with education, recreation, green-collar job creation, local food production, etc. In other words, it is where the future of green development is headed: thinking beyond the footprint of a particular development to tap into the rich infrastructure around that footprint.
It’s the real deal. As you can see here, we went so far as to save and reuse palm trees from around the property: