Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Blog Post: "Temple students get sustainable apartments"

Good morning, readers.

This is a first for Philly Urban Living, but one of our regular readers contacted me and volunteered to write a guest post for this Blog. Needless to say, I gladly accepted. Not only is it great to hear from regular readers, but it’s even more encouraging to hear from one who wants to contribute.

Emma Crawford is a recent graduate of Murray State University with a degree in Creative Writing. Having an interest in green/sustainable development around Temple University, she decided to focus her efforts there. If you like what you see, please comment below and tell Emma to come back for another post!
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With more students enrolling in Temple University every year, a population boom has occurred in the surrounding area causing tremendous growth. Such growth is seen as a positive for the local economy. However, the additional construction to build new apartment buildings catering to students had many concerned with a potentially negative impact on the environment.

That’s when The Modules were thought up, a living space for 160 residents and what will soon be the only environmentally friendly apartment building near the university. The Modules are water efficient, prevent ground water pollution, and help to reduce the energy waste by recycling conditioned air within the building.

They have been given that name because they were constructed using a modular design. These modules, or blocks, were built off-site, allowing the construction of even more environmentally friendly materials and less waste. Any waste produced was recycled into new building materials for additional sustainability.

In addition to the environmental sustainability of The Modules, the apartments themselves are affordable for students. Many students who have taken up residence in The Modules have commented that it's the price and convenience of the building that attracted them, not the eco-friendly nature of the building. Students have said to be remarking that The Modules are so close to Temple University that it feels safer walking home at night. One student stated that her rent was comparable to other Philadelphia apartments in the area and that the energy saving aspects of The Modules was an added bonus. 

The Modules makes use of a unique energy preservation design that recycles treated air within the building. As one resident turns down the heat, the already heated air is redirected to another unit where a resident is turning up the heat, reducing additional burned energy. The roof of The Modules will also have a green meadow, allowing residents to sit and relax on lawn chairs while enjoying a clear view of the skyline and fresh air.

Throughout the construction process, state-of-the-art energy saving techniques and use of water conservation helped earn The Modules a sustainability award. The US Green Building Council awarded a Gold standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) to the developers and designers of the first environmentally friendly and sustainable building in the Temple University area.