Scheduled for completion this month, Charleston’s latest mixed-use development, One Cool Blow, is setting new standards for green residential design. Less than a mile from the downtown shopping district, Cool Blow was designed with the lifestyle of its younger, more progressive residents in mind. And the development is proving that it doesn’t take an excess of green space to be environmentally friendly. Their three five-story buildings offer residential and commercial tenants alike access to onsite recycling collection facilities, vegetative roof technology, and bamboo flooring — just a few of the project’s green initiatives.

According to Cool Blow spokeswoman Jackie Tyler, the bamboo flooring, for instance, was seen as “highly renewable” and therefore preferable over more traditional hardwoods because “trees obviously don’t grow back as fast.”

The vegetated roof gardens, with rainwater collection capabilities, can cut energy costs significantly in a climate such as Charleston’s. As anyone who has seen a Lowcountry summer can tell you, Charleston gets a whole lot of sunshine, which tends to raise the temperature quite a bit. The vegetation on the roofs of Cool Blow’s buildings will absorb the sun’s heat and keep the buildings cool, thereby allowing for the use of less air conditioning and the energy required to produce it. Then, when it does rain, the water will be collected and recycled for irrigation use within those same gardens.