Alta Gateway Becomes First LEED Platinum Apartment Building in Utah

Alta Gateway Apartments became the first LEED Platinum certified apartment building in the state of Utah, earning its plaque earlier this week.  The 277-unit apartment complex scored 86.5 credits under the LEED for Homes rating system, surpassing the LEED Platinum threshold of 83.5 credits. 

Alta Gateway was certified under the LEED for Homes protocol, arguably one of the most stringent LEED protocols and one that is geared toward living space rather that office or other usage.  It requires field inspections of all installations and execution of energy components as well as building performance testing.

Energy efficient design can be found at every turn, but where Alta Gateway really shines is in the Sustainable Sites, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Energy & Atmosphere credit categories.

Sustainable Sites

Alta Gateway has a remarkable system of large, dome-like Stormtech system, infiltration tunnels that stretch the length of the project when lined up end to end.  Though the system is kept dry during normal to light rainfall conditions, it has the capacity and potential to manage the majority of storm water from the roof and from the facility’s hardscape on site from significant storm events, protecting Salt Lake and immediate surrounding watershed.

Other site-features include 91% use of drought tolerant plantings and an effective but pleasant use of non-watered landscaping.

Energy and Atmosphere

Alta Gateway scored with whole-building thermal block ratings of HERS (Home Energy Rating System) of 65 and 66.  Contributing features include windows that block thermal conduction, high insulation levels, tested air-barriers, 100% high efficacy lighting, all Energy Star and high-efficiency appliances and low-flow hot water fixtures.  Significant water savings come from low-flow fixtures and a high-tech irrigation system featuring zone controls and high uniform density spray heads among other features.

Indoor Environmental Quality

Residential buildings are occupied in a very unique way – generating lots of heat and humidity from cooking, showering and daily living.  This is a comfort factor even in a relatively dry climate.  Stuffiness or the sensation of being chilly are a direct result of heat and humidity and over-sized heating and cooling equipment.  These factors are controllable.  Alta Gateway has a tested, continuous fresh air system with dedicated ductwork that brings in fresh, outside air to every unit.  Fresh air, as opposed to building air, has a noticeable impact on comfort, allergies and over-all health.  Units also have properly sized heating and cooling equipment that does not short cycle.  The equipment runs in intervals long enough to effectively remove occupant-generated humidity.

In addition, Alta Gateway units are constructed and finished with low toxin-emitting materials, paints and adhesives, carpet and carpet pad.

A big impact on sustainability is the overall durability of Alta Gateway and the structure itself.  LEED durability measures slow moisture intrusion from interior and exterior sources.  A building that lasts is a building that does not have to be replaced at the expense of the environment.  Additionally, construction waste was diverted from landfill to be used as recycled material.  Every effort was made to use locally sourced and recycled materials.

Alta Gateway, which was officially completed in late 2017 and celebrated its grand opening June 19, with representatives from Studio PBA in attendance for the event. 

Congratulations to the entire Alta Gateway team on this achievement: Studio PBA (Architect); Wood Partners (Developer); Rimrock Construction (General Contractor); Psomas (Civil Engineer); Enayat Schneider Engineering, Inc (Structural Engineer); Priest Engineering (Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer); Front Range Electrical Engineering (Electrical); US-EcoLogic (Sustainability/LEED Consultant).