Pike & Rose: A Sustainable Neighborhood in North Bethesda

May 31, 2019
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Long gone is the Toys R Us with its sprawling parking lot and scattered shopping carts. In its place is a modern-day paradise, complete with retail, offices, restaurants, apartments, a hotel, parking, and a movie theater—and the list goes on. Nestled between Rockville Pike and Montrose Parkway lies this pioneering development, and it’s name is a clever combination of its two boundaries: Pike & Rose 

Owned by real estate owner and redeveloper Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT), the property was purchased in the 1980’s with plans for redevelopment in the 2000’s. In 2012, with help from five different architects and sustainability consulting firm Paladino and Company, construction for 24-acre Pike & Rose was underway. 

At the project’s formation, a goal was set to achieve LEED Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) v2009 certification, with a reach goal of earning Silver. Immense dedication and commitment to sustainable practice by FRIT, Paladino, and the rest of the team allowed Pike & Rose to exceed expectations and earn LEED ND Stage 3 Gold certification. 

Pike & Rose is also one of the few developments in the world in which every building is LEED certified. Pike & Rose is the only LEED ND Stage 3 certified project owned and developed by a U.S. REIT and one of only 10 LEED ND Stage 3-certified projects in the U.S. as well as only 18 worldwide. This accomplishment demonstrates the significance that certification can have when aiming to achieve environmental standards across numerous structures with various tenants. 

At the LEED ND Plaque Ceremony and Building Tour hosted by USGBC and FRIT in May 2019, Pike & Rose was formally acknowledged for these sustainability achievements. Following presentations by both FRIT and Paladino in which key elements and challenges from the project were discussed, attendees were taken on a tour of the most sustainable aspects of Pike & Rose. This included views and descriptions of the multiple green roofs—that both produce food and reduce carbon—the expansive solar panels on top of the parking garage, and the advanced stormwater management system. 

Atop one of the earliest buildings of Pike & Rose is an urban farm, which provides fruit and vegetables that are sold to local restaurants, provided to subscribers of the community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share, or donated to the nearby Manna Food Bank. The farm is the Mid-Atlantic’s largest at 17,000 square feet, supplying the community with 20,000 pounds of produce each year. The state-of-the-art stormwater management system allowed the farm to be a successful addition to the building, requiring minimal alterations. Learn more about the urban farm in this Maryland Farm & Harvest video! 

The solar panels that act as a roof on the parking garage prove to be equally as beneficial: with 855 panels currently installed, 350,875 kWh of clean electricity are generated per year. That avoids 248 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, which is equivalent to taking more than 52 cars off the road for a year. 

In addition to the implementation of large-scale environmentally friendly design features, FRIT considered community-wide sustainability in every aspect of life. Whether it’s the tree-lined streets that reduce the heat island effect and increase walkability, the EV charging stations that promote the use of lowemission vehicles, or the regularly scheduled events that encourage exercise and community engagement, FRIT has thought of it all.  

By implementing sustainable practices at every scale, FRIT ensured that Pike & Rose would be a positive influence on both its visitors and the environment. In the next few years, additional development expansions are planned for Pike & Rose, and FRIT is committed to maintaining their sustainability goals in these projects.  

Written by Charlotte Aitken, intern for DEP’s Energy and Sustainability Programs, Tulane University Class of 2021


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