Low-income seniors in Oakland now have a new housing complex available to meet their needs. Merritt Crossing by LMS Architects is a LEED Platinum residential project in Oakland's Chinatown neighborhood with easy access to transit and other urban amenities. The project was built for nonprofit developer Affordable Housing Associates, and it provides housing for 70 low-income seniors. Sustainably designed with rooftop solar panels, living mesh screens on the facade and a high performance exterior, the project is also GreenPoint and Energy Star rated and has a Bay-Friendly landscaping certification.
Merritt Crossing is located on the corner of 6th and Oak Street in Oakland. The dense project worked to match the surrounding feel of the residential homes as well as address the visual and noise impact of the adjacent freeway. The six story building designed by San Francisco-based LMS Architects provides 70 affordable and accessible apartments for a diverse group of seniors with low incomes. About half of the building’s residents are formerly homeless individuals and the building also provides supportive services, and community room and kitchen. Located on a former brownfield site, Merritt Crossing is also sited near a BART stop. Modern design elements are incorporated to eliminate the institutionalized feel and compliment the surrounding eclectic pan-Asian community.
Photovoltaics and a solar thermal system on the roof provide energy for the building while a high performance envelope and energy efficient systems to reduce energy use. The apartments are sunny and allow for natural ventilation and each has a private and protected balcony recessed behind the building’s outer shell. A mesh installation will allow plants to grow on the building creating a living facade to protect it from the elements, improve air quality and reduce noise. Since it’s competition in August of 2012, the project has been awarded LEED Platinum certification. It has also been awarded GreenPoint Rating with over 130 points, an EnergyStar Rating and a Bay-Friendly Landscape Certification.
Images ©Tim Griffith