U.S. Green Building Council names Avesta Housing its 2012 Outstanding Affordable Developer for Oak Street Lofts

“Avesta is committed to making smart, strategic investments that extend the lives of their facilities, lower operating costs and improve the lives of their residents."

Portland, MAINE — Avesta Housing has received the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2012 LEED for Homes Outstanding Affordable Developer Award for Oak Street Lofts, the first multi-family affordable development in the state to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

USGBC’s annual LEED for Homes Awards recognizes projects, developers and homebuilders that have demonstrated leadership in the residential green building marketplace. The awards were presented November 15 at the council’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

Completed in January 2012 and located in the heart of the city’s arts district, Oak Street Lofts is a unique property that caters to artists looking to work and live affordably in Portland. Its energy-efficient features include a solar hot water heating system that provides up to 60% of the annual hot water usage; condensing boilers that provide up to 93% efficiency; and an air recovery ventilation system that recovers 76% of the energy in the air exhaust and transfers it to the air supply stream. The building also features locally sourced and low-VOC building materials, low-flow plumbing fixtures and energy-saving LED and CFL lighting on motion sensors.

The building’s 37 apartments are 40% more energy efficient than the typical apartment in a multi-family building. Heat and electricity costs for each unit are expected to average about $58 per month, compared to $92 per month for a typical unit. That translates into an annual savings of $15,000 for the building as a whole.

“Avesta Housing recognized the benefits of designing quality, energy-efficient housing nearly 10 years ago when we first established our green design standards,” said Dana Totman, president of Avesta. “This award from the U.S. Green Building Council shows we’re still on the forefront of green design, and we’re proud to receive this recognition for Oak Street Lofts.”

John Ryan, president of Wright-Ryan Construction, the project’s general contractor, said, “Avesta is committed to making smart, strategic investments that extend the lives of their facilities, lower operating costs and improve the lives of their residents. We have been continually impressed with their willingness to explore new ideas for adding value to their projects in collaboration with their design and construction partners. Oak Street Lofts is a highly efficient urban gem.”

“Oak Street Lofts pushed the boundaries of traditional affordable housing development by really focusing on how it could best benefit the community — socially, economically and responsibly,” said Ben Walter, president of CWS Architects, which designed the building. “Avesta Housing has insightfully recognized that the most successful developments are not cookie cutter developments.”

Jay Waterman, associate at Thornton Tomasetti, said, “As the sustainability consultant and LEED for HOMES Provider, Thornton Tomasetti is proud to be part of a project that met both social and environmental objectives.  Location-efficient, energy-efficient, healthy housing is the new standard for affordable housing, and Avesta and Oak Street Lofts exemplify this new standard.”

An independent panel of judges selected Avesta to win the Outstanding Affordable Developer Award for Oak Street Lofts because of the building’s many design innovations that demonstrate “even affordable housing projects, with limited capital budgets, can achieve high rates of energy efficiency and enhanced comfort for occupants,” according to a press release from the USGBC.

Other members of the Oak Street Lofts design team include Becker Structural Engineers, Bennett Engineering and Mitchell & Associates Landscape Architects. Construction financing was provided by Bangor Savings Bank, and Boston Capital served as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit syndicator. For more on Oak Street Lofts, visit Avesta’s website at

This year’s honor is not the first time Avesta has been recognized by USGBC’s LEED for Homes Awards. In 2008, Avesta’s Pearl Street property won for Outstanding Multi-Family Project.


Contact: Mindy Woerter, Communications Manager
(207) 553-7780, ext. 212; cell: 632-0696

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Contact Development and Communications Manager Sara Olson at 207-553-7780 x3352 or by email.