Wood Partners Receives 2010 Energy Star(R) for Homes - Leadership in Housing Award

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Awards the Multifamily Developer in Recognition of Its North 38 Student Housing Project in Harrisonburg, Va.

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - June 2, 2010) -  Wood Partners, L.L.C., one of the nation's largest multifamily developers, is proud to announce that the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently honored its firm with the national ENERGY STAR® For Homes - Leadership in Housing Award in recognition of qualifying an outstanding number of energy efficient homes in the past year.

"We set out last year to make a big push nationwide with energy efficient and environmentally friendly building methods and materials," said Chief Executive Officer Ryan L. Dearborn. "Being green is important to Wood Partners, to our apartment renters and to our investment partners. This is a great first success that sets the stage for a long line of energy efficient projects by our company."

The nationally recognized ENERGY STAR certification was given for work performed last year by WP East Development Enterprises, LLC, a unit of Wood Partners that built the 228-unit North 38 student housing project in Harrisonburg, Va.

To qualify for the award, a builder must reach the threshold of at least 50 ENERGY STAR qualified homes in the calendar year. Wood Partners produced more than four times that minimum in a single project. North 38, considered large for the award category, helped Wood stand out among the competition. The property built last year consists of 19 buildings with 12 apartments each, and serves about 800 students from local colleges in Harrisonburg, including nearby James Madison University.

The project met the ENERGY STAR requirements set for better efficiency with heating and air conditioning, thermostats, ductwork, windows, water heaters and lighting and appliances, among other things.

Construction of the site, led by project manager Phil Vetter, also stayed true to environmentally friendly methods by recycling wood, brick/block, concrete, drywall and shingles at the site. The goal was to recycle at least three quarters of at least three of each material. Use of recyclable and recycled materials for building, such as MDF and finger-jointed studs that utilize scrap materials, was also a key. Scores of other environmentally friendly methods, including energy-efficient faucets and showerheads, were also used. Planners at Wood Partners thought out every detail in advance -- all the way down to labeling storm drains to discourage people from dumping pollutants -- to make the project as green as possible.

Wood paid the extra costs involved to make North 38 achieve ENERGY STAR status, where lenders would not.

The leadership at Wood Partners issued a new energy policy in March 2009 that said going forward all of its new projects would be designed and constructed to achieve the ENERGY STAR standard whenever possible. The company's push into green building came from evidence of demand from home renters who made it overwhelmingly clear in survey results that they wanted efficient living choices. Beyond that, it has been a strong interest for Wood, as well as its investors, to move to the forefront of green building.

"This was just getting our feet wet with green building," said Dearborn. "The process and details involved all came together seamlessly for a great project."

Wood Partners has two other energy efficient projects in the works with Alta at Indian Woods Apartments in Stoughton, Mass., 154 units, and the Alta at Regency Crest project in Ellicott City, Md., 150 units. Not all residential projects are eligible for ENERGY STAR housing awards, which has restrictions on height, HVAC systems and other features. In such cases, Wood Partners will strive to meet the energy efficiency standards of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

About Wood Partners

Wood Partners is a national real estate company that acquires, develops, constructs and property manages high density and mixed-use communities. Through quality construction, responsible land development and intelligent design, our communities reflect the aesthetic and social fabric of the community and provide a luxurious living experience at a fair price. The company has been involved in the development of more than 36,000 homes with a combine value of more than $4.5 billion in the Southeast, Washington D.C., Texas, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and California. To learn more about Wood Partners, please visit our Web site at www.woodpartners.com.

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