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Achieving Sustainability and Luxury in a Multi-Family Project

Achieving Sustainability and Luxury in a Multi-Family Project

How one designer used Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex and color to help create a LEED-certified and gorgeous apartment complex.

Sustainable. Sophisticated. Luxurious. Those words aren’t often used to describe rental properties in Frederick, Maryland, but they capture the brand-new East of Market Apartments complex to a T. The five-building, 160-unit property is the first Energy Star and LEED-certified property in the area — a charming, historic community that’s less than an hour from Washington, D.C. — not to mention the only one with amenities ranging from stone countertops to a pet wash station.

“It’s all about quality construction — and quality of life,” says Shane Pollin, director of development for The Duffie Companies, East of Market’s developer. “We’re a family company and we’re invested for the long term. So we care about the durability of the project and its impact on the community. Sustainable building is just the right thing to do.”

Pollin worked with designer Alice Sydney Minkoff of Alice Sydney, LLC, to construct a LEED-certified, yet design-conscious, complex. Throughout the buildings, Minkoff and her team used Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex paint, which meets the most stringent VOC regulations. “Emerald was the natural choice because of the green aspects of this particular job, as well as the durability requirements,” she says.

In addition, Pollin’s developers used cutting-edge construction techniques and materials, first creating a tightly sealed envelope and then outfitting it with the resource-conserving systems and materials: ultra-efficient heating and cooling, water-saving fixtures, and LED lighting, to name a few. Next came the lifestyle amenities, a long list of luxuries including garages with vehicle charging stations, and a showplace clubhouse with a fitness center, pool, business center, and even a “simulation center” where you can play simulated games of golf or basketball.

“The look of the property was also very important to us,” Pollin says. “We wanted it to be comfortable but elegant.” Minkoff realized that vision, relying heavily on color throughout the design process. “Color is essential to creating the right mood,” Minkoff says. “And in this case, we turned to paint for much of that impact.”

The color palette began with a single piece of upholstery fabric. From that swatch, Minkoff built the entire palette: Moody Blue (SW 6221), Anew Gray (SW 7030) and Dovetail (SW 7018) for the walls; Wool Skein (SW 6148) for the apartment units’ trim and clubhouse walls; Gingery (SW 6363) as the accent in the clubhouse; gradations of Amazing Gray (SW 7044) for the apartment building hallways; and energetic splashes of Goldenrod (SW 6677) throughout.


For extra “wow” factor in the clubhouse, Minkoff brought in decorative painter Laura Farrell of LMI Studios to create hand-stenciled wall borders. “Alice liked the border so much, she had us do the clubhouse ceiling, too. Then, we used a similar motif to create custom art pieces to hang in the foyers of each building,” Farrell says. “We used Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex for all the decorative painting. It’s really easy to work with and has a great depth of color.”


The result is a property that’s unique in its market. “You’d never believe these are rental apartments,” Minkoff says. “The level of finish is that high.” Evidently, the locals agree: East of Market was 30 percent leased by the end of its first day of business. “It feels great to build a different kind of building,” Pollin says. “People can see the difference, and we’re excited to help raise the bar.”

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company

Product: Interior Paints

Of: Amanda Lecky




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