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An Uncommon catalyst

CA Ventures,
Uncommon Eugene
Eugene, OR

Across the country, universities, communities, and developers are working together to blur the lines between town and gown. Uncommon Eugene, a 120-unit apartment development situated on the edge of the University of Oregon campus, weaves students into the fabric of urban life.

Plant species were selected based on their ability to thrive with naturally occurring rainfall amounts, while the vegetated areas—along with the white roof design—minimize the building’s heat island effect and reduce cooling demand.

The project, part of the EPA’s Brownfields Program, replaced a stoic, asbestos-laden medical building, and was the first of its kind to implement the city’s updated pedestrian-friendly zoning directives. Opened in 2014, the development has reactivated the surrounding neighborhood, and is a testament to how universities and developers can work together to realize a new urban future.

Natural light filters into all living spaces, office spaces, and amenities. Perforated steel sunshades wrap the western exposure windows to protect from direct sunlight.

A large canopy and seating area at the public bus stop invites students to leave their cars behind. Bike racks are provided for every unit. Additional racks are located throughout the building.

“We’re responding to changes in the urban housing market for college students and graduates. They’re looking for a smaller environmental footprint and well-designed spaces close to the life of the campus and the city.”

J. J. Smith, CEO, CA Student Living

The exterior incorporates a mix of cedar, fiber cement, metal panels, and stucco to create an organic sense of movement.

Low-flow plumbing fixtures and appliances reduce domestic water use by 32%, saving 220 gallons of water per day.

Student Housing Business Innovator Awards

Winner for Best Use of Green and Sustainable Construction/Development (Off-Campus)