One of the most important tenets of sustainability is the phrase, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". New construction is very resource intensive and when you tear down an existing building you create excess waste. Reusing (i.e. rehabilitating and renovating) older buildings is almost always the more sustainable option. By carefully preserving elements that work while replacing that which was broken and worn out, Elm Gardens will provide quality housing for many more years to come.

Elm Garden's sustainable features include:

Solar Electric System
  • In 2020 a 34.92 kW Solar Electric System was installed on the roof of Elm Gardens.
  • The yearly impact of generating this clean energy is the environmental equivalent of growing 526 trees for 10 years, or not driving a car 78,950 miles.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • High-efficiency building systems, including gas hot water heaters + boiler.
  • Each unit has its own high-efficiency gas fired furnace and split AC system, controlled by an individual thermostat.
  • Because this building has been renovated, the energy used to obtain construction materials and build the original structure is conserved. This concept is called embodied energy.
  • Sustainably harvested bamboo flooring for all ground-floor units.
  • Paint, sealants, caulks, adhesives, etc were all chosen for their minimal off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Earth-friendly cleaning products used in all common areas.
  • When carpets wear out, they are recycled and their replacements are made with recycled content.
Energy-Conserving Features
  • Energy-efficient building lighting, including compact-fluorescent light bulbs used throughout common spaces.
  • Energy-Star air-conditioning, kitchen and laundry room appliances.
  • Double-paned windows provide excellent insulation in both summer and winter.
Water-Conserving Features
  • Every unit comes with Niagara flapperless toilets that conserve water while still offering a powerful flush.
  • Water-conserving plumbing fixtures used throughout building.
  • Located in a walkable community, with restaurants, shopping and services easily accessible on foot.
  • Indoor bike parking available to all tenants, free of charge.
  • Next door to the Takoma Metro station.
Waste Disposal
  • Building-wide recycling, including special programs for fluorescent bulbs and batteries.