Oleson Woods

Adjacent to mass transit and employment centers with over 18,000 jobs, this 32-unit family housing project provides one, three, and four-bedroom apartments as well as a community center. The design carefully preserves and harmonizes with the natural beauty of the 3.1-acre site. Northwest-style steep-gabled buildings are grouped around common open areas to provide a sense of community. A nature trail, basketball court and playground provide a variety of opportunities for children and adults to be outside. Common pathways thoughtfully link areas to one another. The community center houses after-school kids’ programs, adult programs, and maintains computer stations with internet access.

Specific green building elements include whole-house ventilation systems, onsite rainwater filtration, abundant natural lighting, fluorescent lighting fixtures, cementitious siding, insulation exceeding code requirements, Energy Star appliances, fly-ash concrete and low-VOC adhesives and paint. All 24 ground-floor units are visitable by persons with disabilities, including three that are fully accessible. Each unit provides residents with private outdoor space. In addition to green building elements CHA’s site design preserves valuable wildlife habitat. A seasonal wetland at the center of the site has been preserved, enlarged and enhanced. Storm water run-off from the site is naturally filtered in a water quality facility landscaped with native plantings. All of these features provide opportunities for special education programs featuring exploration and ecology.