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Branford Recognizes Metro Star’s Eco-Friendly Landscaping – kechambers

Branford Recognizes Metro Star’s Eco-Friendly Landscaping

Branford presented an eco-friendly landscaping award to Metro Star’s development on East Main Street on Sept. 30; shown here are (lr): Clean Energy Committee (CEC) members Mike Cohen and Sharon Hutner, First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove, Community Forest Commission (CFC) member/CEC chair Shirley McCarthy, Metro Star Executive Managing Director/Founder Robert Smith, Town Planner Harry Smith, CFC chair Patrick Sweeney, CFC members Ivy Bigelow and Doreen Larson, CEC member Eunice Mahler. Pam Johnson/The Sound

Branford has presented Metro Star of Milford with an Eco-Friendly Landscaping Award, for its installation of ecologically centered, sustainable landscaping.

On behalf of the Town of Branford and Branford’s Community Forest Commission (CFC), First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove made the presentation to Robert Smith, Metro Star Executive Managing Director and Founder, on Friday, Sept. 30 at the East Main Street luxury apartments/commercial buildings complex, currently under construction (see Coming Soon: Update on Metro Star’s East Main Street Complex).

Cosgrove presented the award to Smith in recognition of “…excellence in designing a beautiful, sustainable and ecologically friendly landscaping plan.”

Cosgrove said Metro Star’s development of the new complex has created a tremendous improvement to the area. The site at 367,373-375, 377 and 383 East Main St. most notably includes a large parcel formerly occupied by the aging Days Inn, torn down to make way for the new construction.

Branford Town Planner Harry Smith (no relation) also attended to help the Town recognize Metro Star’s landscaping work. In approving the site plan in 2020, Branford’s Planning and Zoning Commission noted Metro Star’s proposed landscaping constituted “excellence in landscape design” per Section 6.3.L of town zoning regulations.

CFC member Shirley McCarthy said the importance of Metro Star’s installation of native trees and plantings can’t be underestimated.

“Robert has landscaped with all natives, which is so important for biodiversity,” said McCarthy.

Metro Star also undertook landscaping conservation practices such as installing rain swale gardens, she noted.

McCarthy, who also chairs Branford’s Clean Energy Committee (CEC), said Metro Star is also to be commended for its extraordinary incorporation of many building energy efficiencies. For that reason, McCarthy invited CEC members to join in the presentation to Metro Star.

“Metro Star incorporates energy efficiency standards that exceed the base building code requirements with all our new developments,” Smith said. “We look to achieve a minimum HERS rating of 55 which means our homes use 55 percent of the energy consumed by the ‘reference home.’ Requiring a RESNET Grade 1 insulation process, high efficiency heat pumps and Energy Star appliances are just some of our specifications for efficiency.”

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The Residential Energy Services Network, or RESNET, is a recognized national standards-making body for building energy efficiency rating and certification systems.

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