The Madox in Jersey City, New Jersey, will be the first residential development in the city to receive LEED Silver cerification. The eight-story building, by Fields Development Group and completed in September 2012, has a number of green features that would add to the certification, including land reuse, energy- and water-efficient systems, and proximity to public transportation. The building also is designed to create a natural connection between residents and the city, which is why Fields strove for a balance between innovation and interconnection.

One of the key green elements for the project, which received a Gold Award for green design in the 2012 Professional Builder Design Awards, was using reclaimed urban land. The site of the 186,500-square-foot building was previously home to a machine-parts manufacturer. Fields conducted an extensive clean-up by pumping ozone and oxygen into the soil before digging out the contamination that was left behind and beginning work on the features that the 131-unit complex would offer.

“Madox raises the bar for the entire market in our area. We are changing the way people build around here.”  Patrick Kretz, Fields Development Group

“Madox raises the bar for the entire market in our area. We are changing the way people build around here.”
Patrick Kretz, Fields Development Group

Patrick Kretz, the project manager for Madox, says using recycled materials does still require a larger budget, but in addition to their green aspects, the materials added cosmetic benefits. “Madox promotes a feeling of old comfort, and using recycled material and reclaimed wood helped the look of it,” he says.

In addition to reusing land and materials, Fields added systems to reduce energy consumption by 14 percent. Its water-use reduction was triple that, estimated at 45 percent, realized through the installation of aerators on fixtures, low-flow toilets, and reduced-flow shower heads, along with a photovoltaic solar array and rooftop vegetation. The company also pledges to source 35 percent of Madox’s electricity from renewable resources and touts a building design that overall should save 430,141 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 37,805 therms of natural gas per year.

Kretz says the project was the result of a team effort and credits partners like architectural planning firm Marchetto Higgins Stieve for its success. “The LEED aspect came from a basis of design that they already practice,” Kretz says. “They were very willing and able to add any other aspects we needed.”

As the people at Fields see it, Madox is a ‘way of life.’ “We wanted [to create] the feel that you’re doing your daily grind, and then you get home, and you’re in this great, green community,” Kretz says. Although the project is in Jersey City, it is seamlessly connected to city life through nearby transit options. PATH trains and ferry services to New York City are just blocks away, and the building offers electric vehicle-charging stations and other green options. “Madox raises the bar for the entire market in our area,” Kretz says. “We are changing the way people build around here.”

When Fields set out to develop Madox, it wanted to provide a green community that promoted sustainability as well as offer tenants an affordable way to experience the amenities of luxury city living. Having succeeded, Kretz says Madox is a model for what Fields hopes to do more of in the future. Plus, he says, it’s the “perfect answer to Manhattan real estate.”