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Check Out D.C.'s New LEED Silver Women's Shelter in Shaw

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Women's shelters are rightfully lauded for their service to the community but are not regularly known for their innovations in the world of design. However, the latest New Endeavors By Women shelter, which celebrated its ribbon cutting on Tuesday is both a literal bright spot on N Street and a LEED Silver facility. It's also been a long time coming. Dean Hutchison, the project manager from local design firm CORE says that he's been involved with this project since 2009.

The plans for the facility have also been altered a bit since 2009. This shelter is the first new Department of Human Services Facility to be built in the past twenty years although several others had been renovated. As such, they were on a strict budget (which ended up changing the plan from four stories to two) while reaching to meet LEED Silver standards.

The sustainable aspects of this building actually go above and beyond their (mostly) green roof. They were able to re-use the foundation of the previous building at the N Street site and all of the finishes were made from materials that were either recycled, salvaged or locally sourced. Hutchison pointed out that the countertops were made from a material called paperstone, a substance similar in appearance to corian but made from recycled paper.

Hutchison's career as a social worker prior to joining CORE ended up being an asset as it allowed him to connect with his clients. One of the residents that moved into the shelter last week particularly liked the pops of color both inside and outside of the building. Hutchison said that she liked being able to experience her different moods in the different rooms.