Self-Help Shares

Kent Corner: Sustainability for the Environment and the Community

By Amandine M.
  | Sep 02, 2016

Kent Corner developmentWe’re pleased to announce that Durham’s Kent Corner development is a project finalist for the U.S. Green Building Council North Carolina’s Sustainable Business Award. We are proud to share this honor with the other inspiring finalists.

After working with partners for nearly a decade to develop safe affordable housing in the area, Self-Help consulted neighborhood groups to create a vision for Kent Corner that would reflect their aspirations for the West Chapel Hill Street business district. The project, located in southwest central Durham, is at a key nexus connecting downtown, Duke University, and nearby historically African-American neighborhoods.

One of our goals in developing Kent Corner was to provide useful amenities and services in the historic West End neighborhood. The development’s major tenants include Durham Co-op Market, a cooperative grocery that provides local and healthy foods, and the Center for Child & Family Health, which serves children and families affected by trauma. In addition, the project directly serves the surrounding community, with a new covered bus shelter that features a Little Free Library book swap, pedestrian connections to the neighborhoods, and improvements that made the adjacent intersection safer to cross.

solar panels

We also made environmental sustainability a priority for the project. It’s easy to appreciate that the project preserved mature shade trees and an outdoor gathering space. Perhaps less visible are the other sustainability features. The design and construction team went above and beyond to reduce air leakage and increase natural light. As a result, we were able to reduce the energy intensity of the heating and air system. Hidden on the roof of the office building is a solar installation, adding clean energy to the local grid.

We look forward to seeing the continued positive impact Kent Corner will have in southwest central Durham.

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