The Flats at 124 Alfred
The City Modern project in Detroit’s historic Brush Park neighborhood is energizing the downtown/medical area with new residents from all stages of life. The 8.4 acre development introduces a mix of twenty new residential buildings, encouraging residents to “age in place” by moving from stylish, easy living apartments, to traditional, family-style townhomes, and eventually to an active and social senior living community.
The Flats at 124 Alfred is the first apartment building to open its doors to tenants. Designed for residents aged 55 and older, the innovative affordable housing project provides the senior community of Detroit an opportunity to live in the heart of the City in an affordable yet first-rate fashion. Residents enjoy numerous amenities, including private enclosed parking, rooftop terrace with a great view of downtown Detroit, accessible neighborhood green space called “The Mews”, bike storage room, community room with kitchenette, exercise center and on-site services for dry cleaning and large package delivery.
Additionally, the development meets both Enterprise Green Community's sustainability criteria, and EnergyStar performance standards, aligning affordable housing investment strategies with environmentally responsible building practices. Our skilled engineers were able to help the building meet these criteria by incorporating a variety of sustainable elements into our MEP design. We designed plumbing systems that deliver hot water efficiently and reduce water waste. The lighting design provided low-wattage LED fixtures throughout, including occupancy-based controls in the public spaces to keep lights off when not needed. The ventilation systems uses energy recovery units to keep indoor air quality high while reducing the cost of conditioning fresh air.
For the residents, a highly efficient HVAC system was designed utilizing Vertical Terminal Air Conditioning (VTAC) units to separately condition each of the building’s 54 apartments. The appearance of these units can create a hotel-like aesthetic which was not desirable for the owner nor the tenants. In order to solve this challenge, SES worked with the architectural design team to coordinate the use of decorative perforated metal panels that could be installed along with the VTAC units to enhance the exterior design while still allowing proper air circulation.
Due to the way the building was subsidized, not all utilities could be billed to the tenant. SES collaborated with the rest of the project team in order to establish an approach of including a provision for adding submeters to the gas service in the future. This strategy allows building tenants to be billed for their energy usage without the need for separate utility meters once the subsidized period is over. It also eliminates the need for a large gas meter bank, which would have negatively impacted the exterior aesthetic of the building.
The Flats at 124 Alfred brings a new population to a previously vacant area near Detroit's rapidly evolving downtown and is helping to establish a more active residential real estate marketplace in the area. The entire City Modern development is providing a diverse and lively community to the Brush Park neighborhood. It marks the beginning of the increased engagement in the historic residential community and will continue to drive the development of commercial and retail spaces to support the new residences.