U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker toured the Cottages at Oak Park in Downtown Ocean Springs on Feb. 23 and presented the development team with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum designation, the Council’s highest level certification of energy efficiency and environmentally responsible construction.
“The Cottages at Oak Park is a great example of how to rebuild after a terrible disaster like Hurricane Katrina,” said Wicker. “These cottages are built structurally superior to a typical home, providing a safe place for residents to live and qualifying for lower insurance rates. Affordability is also enhanced by building at the cottage scale in close-in locations and with energy-efficient techniques and materials. It’s a winning combination that reduces residents’ monthly power bills and transportation costs.”
Senator Wicker was joined by representatives of the Governor’s Office, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the City of Ocean Springs.
Gov. Phil Bryant said, “The need for quality, affordable housing on the Gulf Coast grew after Hurricane Katrina, and I am pleased to know that this development will not only help satisfy that need but has achieved LEED Platinum certification.”
Bill Brown, MEMA Deputy Director, said his agency “is very pleased how this Cottage Community came together, and we are excited to see the Cottages at Second Street in Pass Christian, the sister neighborhood to Oak Park open in a couple of weeks.”
Joe Cloyd, a member of the Cottages at Oak Park and Second Street development team, said the two neighborhoods, “provide examples of how a public / private partnership can work. Through this kind of partnership, residents can live in safe, green, affordable cottages and have the option to walk to surrounding businesses.”
In addition to the Cottages at Oak Park achieving LEED Platinum Certification, the neighborhood also became the first in the City of Ocean Springs to be designated as part of the Renaissance Guild. Kim LaRosa, President of the Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation, explained that “the Renaissance Guild is a collection of developments along the Mississippi Gulf Coast that are walkable, aesthetically superior developments built to ensure the residents have a safe, energy efficient place to live. These cottages meet and exceed the Renaissance Guild criteria.”
Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design certifications were established by the US Green Building Council to reward achievement in environmentally responsible, energy-efficient design and construction. This is the first Platinum level certification that has been awarded to a rental community in Mississippi and is the first affordable rental home to receive this designation in the United States.
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