the direct path to sustainability

We are proud to announce that the Westlawn Gardens public housing renovations won the 2018 Hud Secretary’s Opportunity and Empowerment Award.

Westlawn Gardens is a 75 acre public housing neighborhood located between North 60th and North 68th Streets and Silver Spring Drive on Milwaukee’s northwest side.

Sustainable Building Solutions™ provided LEED consulting services from early in the design process through completion of construction and worked in partnership with Hunzinger Construction, Torti Gallas Partners and Quorum Architects.

The Award will be presented to the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee at the American Planning Association’s National Planning Awards luncheon.

Westlawn Gardens changed the perception and is proof that public housing can be attractive, sustainable, and healthy.

The original neighborhood was built over 50 years ago with 726 barrack-style units for 1,800 residents. Most of the residents were minority and low-income families.

“Wisconsin’s largest public housing neighborhood has transformed from an aged and stressed community

Community Garden located in Westlawn Gardens

into a vibrant, mixed-use and mixed-income neighborhood after an inclusive and participatory planning process. The project’s innovation lies in its approach to financial, environmental, and social sustainability,” American Planning Association.

Redevelopment included an aesthetically and economically diverse mix of housing and services that replaced outdated barrack style public housing units.

The rebuilding of the neighborhood included 250 units of which 94 are one-bedroom units in two mid-rise multi-family buildings and 156 family units that range from two to five bedrooms.

Another addition to the neighborhood included 11 – 3-story multi-family units and a combination of single family and townhouse type buildings for a total of 708 new units.

The infrastructure upgrades for the 37-acre east side of Westlawn Gardens consists of improved storm water management, energy efficiency, and new park and garden space.

As the world’s first LEED-ND Stage 3 Silver certified project, it is the highest-rated neighborhood under current LEED standards Second Stage 3 LEED-ND certification in the world.

The HUD Secretary’s Awards are presented annually to honor projects that exemplify excellence in five categories: affordable housing design, community planning, cooperative public/private efforts, healthy housing innovation, and historic preservation. The awards recognize projects that increase the quality of life for low- and moderate-income households.

Read the American Planning Association’s feature story here.