University Park of Boca

University Park of Boca, a four-story, 159-unit student housing project in Palm Beach County, has been certified as a Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).

Located in the heart of Boca Raton, University Park is convenient to restaurants, shopping, and local colleges. A shuttle service to campuses, a swimming pool, courtyard gathering place, fitness center, juice bar, and game room all serve to create a destination place for students, reducing the need for automobiles.

When planning the project, the design and construction teams utilized building information modeling (BIM) to optimize the efficiencies related to design, materials, construction, and operations.

The energy performance of the building is 30 percent better than required by the Florida Energy Code, augmented by the installation of Energy Star washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ceiling fans in each unit. Light colored interior finishes with a high solar reflective value also help to improve the building’s energy performance.

At least 80 percent of the plants and trees incorporated into the landscape are drought tolerant. Other water saving landscaping approaches include soil moisture sensors, mulching of beds, a properly installed irrigation system to avoid overlapping coverage, the use of micro-irrigation in beds, and onsite training for facility managers.

Indoor water conservation measures include the installation of dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets rated at 1.0 gallons per minute (gpm) or less, low-flow showerheads, and high-efficiency washing machines with a water factor of 6.0 gallons per cycle or less.

The project was a greyfield redevelopment, meaning it transformed an abandoned or under-utilized commercial area, thus making use of existing utilities and roadways and reducing infrastructure costs. This type of “repurposing” has significant economic benefits to the community.

Eighty percent or more of the roof incorporated high-reflective and high emissivity material, thus reducing the heat island effect. The heat island effect is when buildings and pavement absorb a significant amount of light and radiation and emit it as heat, thus increasing the temperature of cities.

Through the proper selection of paints, stains, adhesives, sealants, and materials with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a healthier indoor air quality was achieved for occupants. Other air quality measures included prohibiting smoking throughout the building and protecting all ducts, range hoods and bath fans during construction to avoid pollutants from entering and contaminating the duct systems.

Other green features include:

  • Owner and project team participated in a 4 hour green design charrette where the FGBC Designated Professional detailed each line item in the standard checklist
  • The project team included a certified FGBC Green Designated Professional
  • Design team and construction teams used a BIM process to optimize the efficiencies related to design, estimating, materials ordering, and construction
  • Was designed and constructed using small units
  • Owner designated representative developed a list of owner project requirements related to each of the categories of the high-rise standard
  • Design team representatives developed and documented how the design will achieve the Owner Project Requirements
  • Mechanical Electrical Plumbing (MEP) Engineering Firm worked with the Architect or design team leader to verify field installed equipment meet OPR, BOD and is installed and operating correctly
  • All building HVAC&R systems are free of HCFC’s and Halons
  • Provides a design that is 30% more efficient than FL Code
  • Energy Star qualified Refrigerators are installed in each unit
  • Energy Star qualified dishwashers are installed in each unit
  • Energy Star qualified clothes washers are installed in each unit
  • Energy Star qualified ceiling fans are installed and located in the main living area and each bedroom of each unit
  • Fixtures include automatic switching on timers, photocells, or motion sensor controls, OR provide > 95 lumens/watt, OR are solar powered
  • Utilizes light colored walls/ceilings in main living area
  • Utilizes light colored walls in bedrooms
  • Landscape comprised of a minimum of 80% of drought tolerant plants
  • No Cypress Mulch is used
  • Irrigation includes separate zones for turf and landscaped beds and a multi program controller
  • High-volume irrigation does not exceed 60% of the landscaped area
  • Irrigation uses head to head coverage for rotor/spray heads
  • Has correctly installed micro-irrigation in landscape beds and narrow areas
  • Facility manager was provided with installed irrigation plan, on site training and written instructions
  • Soil moisture sensors or other weather-based irrigation is installed appropriately to control irrigation at ground level and for outdoor amenities
  • All installed toilets comply with the low-flow criteria AND have a minimum MaP (Maximum Performance) rating of 600 OR are WaterSense certified
  • All installed lavatory fixtures comply with the low flow requirements
  • All installed showerheads comply with the low flow requirements
  • Copy of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPP) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Notice of Intent (NOI) is onsite
  • Utilizes erosion and sedimentation control
  • Building is located on a site that had an existing hardscape or other structure that had to be replaced
  • Is located within 1/2 mile of and has safe and walkable access to basic services
  • Is within a 1/2 mile of one existing or funded rail node or 1/4 mile safe and walkable access to mass transit
  • Provides securing locations for bicyclers for 5% of total occupants
  • 80% or more of the roof incorporates high-reflective and high emissivity material, thus reducing the heat island effect
  • There is no net increase in stormwater runoff from pre-development conditions to post-development
  • Provides onsite treatment of stormwater to remove 80% of (TSS) total suspended solids and 40% of (TP) total phosphorous
  • No smoking allowed in the common areas of the building and only in outside designated areas that are located 25 feet or more away from all doors, operable windows, HVAC equipment, and fresh air intake
  • Indoor Environmental Quailtiy was protected during construction according to Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association guidelines for occupied buildings under construction
  • Main entrance of the building is covered with no less than 50 square feet of roof to protect entrance from rain
  • Has a covered path from parking to the main entrance or a Porte cochere at the main entrance
  • Utilizes a sealed combustion water heater, or an electric water heating system
  • Utilizes a sealed combustion furnace, or an electric heating system, such as a heat pump
  • Provides views to vision glazing for 75% of all occupants
  • All grout lines between tiles are less than 3/16″ wide
  • All ducts, range hoods, and bath exhaust fans were protected during construction
  • All adhesives and sealants meet VOC limits
  • Interior paints and coatings are less than 100 g/l for non-flat paint and less than 50 g/l for flat paint
  • Exterior paints and coatings are less than 200 g/l for non-flat and less than 100 g/l for flat
  • All insulation products are free of formaldehyde
  • ALL installed glazing is impact resistant
  • Utilizes fire resistant exterior wall cladding, roof covering or subroof, soffit and vent materials
  • Uses a single lever shutoff valve requiring only a 90 degree turn on clothes washers