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Redstone Lofts featured in New England Real Estate Journal

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Redstone Lofts, the independent on-campus student apartment project at UVM, was featured in the July 22, 2011 Green Building section of New England Real Estate Journal.

Smart Growth Vermont

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Redstone recently accepted a Smart Growth Award from an organization doing important work across the state called Smart Growth Vermont.  So, what is Smart Growth?

According to the Smart Growth Network, the Principles of Smart Growth include:

  • Creating a range of housing options and choices, providing quality housing for people of all income levels;
  • Creating walk-able neighborhoods;
  • Encouraging community and stakeholder collaboration in growth decisions;
  • Fostering distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place;
  • Making development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective;
  • Mixing land uses;
  • Preserving open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas;
  • Providing a variety of transportation choices;
  • Strengthening and directing development towards existing communities;
  • Taking advantage of compact building design.

From Smart Growth Vermont

“How individual communities plan for and manage land use and development will determine Vermont’s economic, social and environmental well-being.  The state’s distinctive sense of place is largely the result of its cultural and economic heritage. This heritage created, and maintained, the state’s historic landscape of compact cities and villages surrounded by working farms and forests. Unfortunately, this landscape is being incrementally lost to a pattern of unplanned, inefficient development.  The result is that our farms, forests and opens spaces are being replaced by strip malls and residential subdivisions scattered far outside of our traditional centers.

At Smart Growth Vermont, we believe that for Vermont to grow and thrive we need to carefully integrate growth, environmental protection and economic opportunities into our local planning framework.  This will require the participation of citizens, local and state officials, developers, business leaders and non-profit organizations.  Our future depends on careful analysis, dialogue, cooperation and leadership.”

At Redstone we believe strongly that Vermont’s historic settlement pattern and sense of place are essential elements to the quality of life we all enjoy and the continued success of our state.  We focus our development efforts in villages and downtowns; we rehabilitate historic structures; we re-purpose pre-existing buildings; and we build new buildings in infill locations.  We’re proud to be the recipients of two awards from Smart Growth Vermont for our Marble Works Residences project in 2007 and this year for the initial phases of the BankNorth Block redevelopment.  In both cases, we had a number of project partners involved and could not have achieved success without tremendous collaboration.

The redevelopment of the BankNorth Block is a prime example of Smart Growth at work in Vermont.  Burlington presents our state’s greatest smart growth opportunities as well as its greatest challenges with incredibly high demand for residential and commercial space; very little developable land; and tight urban sites to work with.  Smart Growth in Burlington requires a collaborative approach bringing the private, public and non-profit sectors together to achieve success.  Along with our project partners Housing Vermont, Champlain Housing Trust, Farrell Real Estate and Mary Farrell, we’re pleased to accept this award for the initial phases of the BankNorth Block redevelopment; we hope that Smart Growth advocates statewide will be supportive of the final phases of this dynamic urban infill and adaptive reuse project.

Green Building 101

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

What is Green Building?  According to the Vermont Green Building Network “Buildings have a tremendous impact on the environment–both during construction and through their operation.  Green building is a loosely defined collection of land-use, building design, construction, and operational strategies that reduce these environmental impacts. Green building practices offer an opportunity to create environmentally sound and resource-efficient buildings by using an integrated approach to design: architects, engineers, land planners, building owners and operators, and constructors get together and design the building by looking for cooperative or advantageous relationships between parts of the project.”
At Redstone we believe Green Building starts with selecting the right site.  Many of our projects involve reusing existing buildings and focusing investment in Vermont’s downtowns and village centers.  Working in locations with a variety of compatible uses and transportation alternatives results in fewer single occupancy vehicle miles traveled by building occupants.  After site selection, using high quality materials that will last long term, are sourced locally when possible, and do not contain harmful chemicals is critical.  Additionally, designing mechanical and electrical systems that perform efficiently reduces energy consumption and lowers a building’s carbon footprint.
There are a variety of excellent sources for additional information on Green Building topics and techniques.  In addition to the Vermont Green Building Network, a couple of my favorites are Environmental Building News (based in Brattleboro) and the U.S. Green Building Council 

Energy efficiency – who benefits?

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Not a day goes without hearing about topics of energy efficiency, green building or capturing our renewable resources.  Who does it really benefit?


Stimulus Support for Commercial Real Estate

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

In the $787 billion stimulus package, officially titled the, “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” commercial real estate is supported through provisions that focus on green building and energy efficiency, as well as business tax incentives. The bill provides significant funds for state energy programs, which could be used to support commercial property owners’ investment in energy efficiency upgrades and commercial property owners seeking to invest in alternative energy systems.  Read executive summary.