New residential developments find green is the way to go

One Cool Blow

Charleston Regional Business Journal

by Holly Fisher

Wecco of Charleston LLC is proving affordable housing options can be green.

Wecco is putting the finishing touches on its One Cool Blow development in downtown Charleston off Morrison Drive near the foot of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. The three-building complex includes a commercial building flanked by two other buildings with retail on the bottom and apartments on top.

Eight residential units are available as work force housing set aside for tenants meeting certain income guidelines. Those units are less than $200,000; other units are sold at a market value of $240,000 to $340,000.

The apartments come in two floor plans: 1,175 square feet and 785 square feet. They feature a number of green elements: bamboo flooring and stained concrete as well as some exposed concrete walls. Multiple windows make use of natural lighting.

The buildings feature rooftop gardens and common areas that use porous pavers and native plants.

The company is anticipating achieving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver designation, said Brook Griffin, director of marketing for Wecco of Charleston.

One Cool Blow is built by Wecco Construction of South Carolina using walls from Standard Precast Walls, a Wecco firm that produces the concrete walls for the company’s structures and for outside customers.

The concrete walls make the structures more durable and insulated, scoring added LEED points for One Cool Blow. Wecco uses its precast walls for all projects, which also speeds up construction time. The foundation was poured in August 2007 and the first of the three

buildings will be ready this month.

Other green initiatives include:

  • Low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints and sealants.
  • On-site recycling center.
  • EnergyStar appliances.

The green aspects of the project help set it apart, complementing the price and location, said Griffin.

One Cool Blow is Wecco’s first Charleston project, but other developments in Savannah, Ga., are LEED certified.

“With every single project we look to incorporate more green aspects,” Griffin said.