Westlawn GardensMilwaukee, Wisconsin
Size: 24 acres
Project Cost: $82 million
Completion Date: 2013
sustainable m.e.p. design : LEED-ND Silver Certification : LEED-HOMES Platinum Certification
Originally constructed in 1952 Westlawn is the Wisconsin’s largest public housing project. Largely untouched in the 60 years since, the 726 units were in dire disrepair with mold problems, leaking roofs and cracked foundations. The redevelopment plan began with razing 332 public housing units in Westlawn’s eastern half to accommodate 410 new, energy efficient living units.
The project includes a mixture of multifamily buildings, townhomes and single-family homes accommodating over 300 residents. The neighborhood includes a number of sustainable features, including a 30,000 square foot community garden and sustainable food production program run by a local non-profit, a ground source heat exchange system for the apartment buildings, rain gardens and bioswales for onsite stormwater retention, weather-resistant low maintenance exterior finishes and a reconnected street grid that supports walkability.
The townhouses are all individually metered to allow residents full control and responsibility for family energy costs. All units have been constructed so as to allow for the potential future installation of photovoltaic panels and cool roofs have been deployed on the mid-rise multifamily buildings. One entire block contains 14 homes designed and constructed as “Healthy Homes” with interior features and exterior landscaping designed to reduce exposure to indoor allergens for persons with asthma or allergies.
Since its completion, Westlawn Gardens has earned a number of accolades, including the first LEED for Homes Platinum certification in Milwaukee.