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Fifth Avenue Apartments, Interfaith Housing Development Corp.
Maywood, IL
Affordable aspirations.
A Living Building Challenge case study.
National pilot for sustainable affordable housing
Overcoming years of resistance to affordable housing development in Maywood, Illinois, a historically underserved neighborhood outside Chicago, the Fifth Avenue Apartments were designed by HED specifically to meet the needs of lower income working families and individuals, including homeless veterans. The five-story development is comprised of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom residential units providing affordable housing for households at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI), along with interior and exterior shared community spaces. It also includes approximately 4,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, currently slated for development into a grocery store, addressing the lack of this amenity in the area.

Additionally, during the design process, Fifth Avenue Apartments was an aspirational case study via the Affordable Housing Pilot for the Living Building Challenge. Fifth Avenue Apartments ambitiously aimed to provide more sustainable and healthy living conditions while maintaining the desired affordable mix. These goals are especially poignant in affordable housing, which has historically struggled to meet financial goals while providing tenants with exceptional, healthy facilities and finishes.

As a result of the LBC Pilot participation, in addition to what HED already considers standard sustainable basics (high efficiency heating and cooling integrated with the building envelope, low flow plumbing fixtures, low emitting interior finishes, etc.), the HED team was able to streamline its processes while achieving additional benefits for the end users, including:

Materials Petal Design Influence: HED developed an internal methodology for vetting and specifying Red List free materials in conjunction with advocating to manufacturers to produce more options. This resulted in a reduction in the use of vinyl, which in addition to being difficult to recycle, produces toxins when manufactured.

Energy Petal Design Influence: HED’s approach to energy efficiency is shifting from combustion/fossil fuel-based systems to electric based systems that can be powered by renewables, which are longer lasting and more resilient. The result is that Fifth Avenue is 95% electric and energy use is offset by a 24KW photovoltaic array.

With a nationwide shortage of affordable housing, it is important to celebrate successful projects like this one that was designed, built, and occupied quickly with over 3,000 letters of interest and 1,700 applicants for the 72 units. These apartments now provide housing with dignity for people with incomes as low as 30% of the area median income.
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Results
The Fifth Avenue Apartments development has been recognized as the 2022 recipient of the Chicago Building Congress (CBC) Merit Award in the Residential/Hospitality category.
Fifth avenue is 95% electric and energy use is offset by a 24KW photovoltaic array.
The five-story development is comprised of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom residential units providing affordable housing for households at or below 60% of the area median income, along with interior and exterior shared community spaces.
Includes approximately 4,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, currently slated for development into a grocery store, addressing the lack of this amenity in the area.
The success of the project was demonstrated when the client received an overwhelming 1,700 applications for the 72 units.
Of the apartment units, 19 are set aside for special needs populations, eight for homeless veterans and 11 for residents from the Illinois State Referral Network.
Affordable housing is the backbone of our communities and we're glad to see this development open its doors to the residents of Cook County. Interfaith and HED have done an incredible job of bringing this building to life quickly, and we are grateful to have them as our partner helping to fulfill this critical community need.”
Toni Preckwinkle
President
Cook County Board of Commissioners
Project Data
Fifth Avenue Apartments 2017-02931-000
Interfaith Housing Development Corporation
Maywood, Illinois
PROJECT SCOPE
New Construction
HED ROLE
Architecture (Full Service), Structural Engineering, Mechanical/ Plumbing Engineering, Electrical Engineering
RSF/GSF
76,950
CONSTRUCTION COST
$14.3 Million
SUSTAINABILITY LEVEL
    National Green Building Standard
Project Team
  • Susan King
    FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, LFA
    Principal
    Market Sector Leadership
  • Chauncey Kingsbury
    AIA, LEED AP BD+C
    Associate Principal
    Project Management
  • Peter Sawirus
    Electrical Design
  • Michael Trimble
    Mechanical Design
  • Richard Gazdzik
    PE, CEM
    Associate Principal
    Electrical Engineering Leader
  • Donovan Aguirre Rivas
    Mechanical Design
  • Chuck Wyder
    SE, PE, RA, NCARB
    Associate
    Structural Engineering
A Living Building Challenge case study.
Fifth Avenue Apartments, Interfaith Housing Development Corp.
Maywood, IL
PROJECT DATA
PROJECT TEAM
Affordable aspirations.