Decatur’s Oliver House Named EarthCraft Multifamily Project of the Year for 2012

DECATUR, GA — Oliver House, the new 80-unit senior housing community at 1450 Commerce Drive in the heart of Decatur, has been named EarthCraft Multifamily 2012 Project of the Year by Southface and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. Built by NorSouth Constructs, Oliver House is the second phase of a $30 million redevelopment of Allen Wilson Terrace Public Housing by the Decatur Housing Authority (DHA). At the recent EarthCraft awards ceremony, both DHA and NorSouth Constructs were honored for leadership and excellence in green building design and construction for their work on Oliver House.

“EarthCraft professionals are realizing greater success than their peers because they are delivering a high value product to the market,” said David Ellis, executive vice president of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. “We celebrate DHA and NorSouth Constructs for their vision and leadership.”

“We are thrilled to receive the EarthCraft Multifamily Project of the Year award for Oliver House,” said Colin Edelstein, director of NorSouth Constructs. “The building was designed to EarthCraft standards from the very beginning. Some of the environmental features include roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels that produce more than 50 kilowatts of electricity, a rainwater harvest system to provide treated water for toilets and outdoor irrigation, low-flow plumbing fixtures in all the units and electricity-conserving geo-thermal heat pump systems to heat and cool the common areas.”

The $12.6 million, four-story Oliver House offers 72 affordable one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments designed specifically for seniors. It’s named for Henry Oliver, a local African-American business owner who lived in Decatur over a century ago. Designed in a traditional style of brick, cast stone and stucco by HADP Architecture of Atlanta and Florida, the structure blends in well with Decatur’s ongoing redevelopment and is located within easy walking distance of Decatur’s shops restaurants, schools and offices. When the entire redevelopment project is completed, the revitalized Allen Wilson Terrace will provide 191 units of high-quality, environmentally friendly housing, along with onsite amenities such as central green space and onsite parking for lower-income families and seniors.


Oliver House Wins EarthCraft Project of the Year

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Oliver House is equipped with the following:


  • High-efficiency ENERGY STAR® kitchen appliances
  • Hybrid geo-thermal water heaters
  • 1.28-gallon-per-flush toilets
  • Low-flow showerheads and fixtures
  • Low-VOC paints and carpeting
  • Formaldehyde-free cabinetry
  • Electricity-conserving geo-thermal heat pumps systems to heat and cool the common areas
  • Roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels that produce more than 50 KWh of electricity
  • Rainwater harvesting system
  • A green roof area and drought-tolerant landscaping
  • Almost one acre of permanent green space


“Going Green is not only the right thing to do, but it pays dividends in reduced costs over time for both the Decatur Housing Authority and its residents,” said DHA Executive Director Doug Faust. “Using new energy efficiency techniques is an important part of developing quality housing and we are fortunate that all of the partners involved with the design and construction of Oliver House have been as committed to the environment as we are. Oliver House’s numerous energy-efficient features, attractive design and focus on safety and comfort for the senior residents set a high standard for future development of affordable housing for seniors.”

About EarthCraft

EarthCraft is a green building certification program designed to address climate, energy and water issues unique to the southeastern United States. EarthCraft serves as a blueprint for energy and resource efficient single-family homes, multifamily structures, renovation projects, community developments and light-commercial buildings. Founded by the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Southface in 1999, the EarthCraft program has certified more than 24,000 projects throughout the Southeast.


Oliver House Wins EarthCraft Project of the Year

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About the Decatur Housing Authority

The Decatur Housing Authority has served the needs of the residents of the City of Decatur since its creation in 1938. In addition to its role in developing, owning and managing public housing, DHA has been involved in developing a number of non-subsidized for-sale single family, condominium and townhouse properties in Decatur. Portions of each of these developments were available as Workforce and Lifecycle Housing that provide affordable homeownership for working households. Throughout its 70-year history, DHA has made a significant impact on the economic growth and well-being of this small city. Just 4.18 square miles in size, Decatur, Georgia is today a thriving small city, thanks in part to the work of the Authority.


About NorSouth Constructs

NorSouth Constructs is an award-winning construction firm with a reputation for building high-quality mixed-use, seniors and multi-family communities for developers and owners throughout the Southeast. Based in Savannah, Ga., NorSouth Constructs offers unique preconstruction services, based on a transparent “design to cost” process which helps owners and their design teams create high-quality properties built for a defined, predictable cost. The company’s slogan, ‘Your mission. Our vision’, highlights its commitment to create long-term customer relationships, based on unparalleled service, reliability and transparency.