Atmosphere

LoDo Goes Eco

The enviro-friendly 20/20 Lawrence aims to be the future of Denver's urban development.

By
May 2008

Can "green" be synonymous with "stylish"? Zocalo Development is betting it can with 20/20 Lawrence, which will be the first condo development in the Rocky Mountain region to achieve a gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification—an index of a property's sustainability, energy- and water-usage efficiency, and indoor air quality—from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Zocalo plans to build a variety of green features into 20/20 Lawrence's structure. The sleek rooftop awning doubles as a solar-panel array that will provide 100 percent of the electric needs for the common areas. Each unit will have energy-saving features such as compact fluorescent lighting, along with natural wool carpeting (no synthetic binding materials) to ensure high interior air quality. Dual-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads will cut down on water usage. Plus, the complex is a quick walk from multiple light-rail and bus lines, and each space in the parking garage—where "preferred" slot assignments go to hybrid cars—comes with a corresponding spot for your bike.

Due for completion in summer 2009, the 60 condos will range in price from $125,000 to $850,000, and 10 percent of the units will be sold at 10 percent below true market value, making purchasing affordable for public servants such as police officers, firefighters, and teachers. "It's a great opportunity to keep critical downtown workers housed in the neighborhoods in which they work," says Sarah Harman, a principal with Zocalo. More than half the units have been sold as of press time, and the developers hope the combination of eco-friendly amenities will continue to appeal to young people and empty-nesters looking to leave an environmental legacy. "Our interest is in building affordable urban communities, and sustainability is an important feature of that," Harman says. "This project will create less demand on the Earth while providing financial rewards and health benefits to the owners."