ECO Modern Flats is an award-winning rehabilitation of a 96-unit market rate apartment complex built between 1968 and 1972. Each of the project's four buildings consists of three floors of eight one-bedroom apartments on a sloping site in central Fayetteville, Arkansas. The existing complex had great bones of precast concrete and split face block, but was drastically lacking in thermal comfort, air quality, and aesthetic appeal. The developer's goals were to deliver a product not currently available in the local market—modern, urban, green multi-family rentals—and to save operations costs through energy- and water-saving updates. The architect saw an opportunity to re-imagine healthy interior space, creating open and light-filled studios by implementing low-tech sustainable solutions.
The renovation completely overhauled the living systems of each unit and transformed the entire complex's visual presence in the community. The new design provides connections to the re-integrated and re-imagined landscape of the site, elevating the greater community and local tenant experience by capturing a demographic that seeks modern design and sustainable living…previously unattainable in Northwest Arkansas. ECO has been fully leased with a waiting list since its completion in 2011, and its management team boasts that the only hindrance for prospective tenants is the one-bedroom lifestyle. ECO Modern Flats was the first multifamily development in the state to attain any level of LEED certification and the first project in Washington County to qualify for the LEED Platinum standard. Since its completion in 2011, ECO has transformed its previously dilapidated infill site into a thriving and remarkably conscious community. A 2012 AIA Merit Award winner and 2013 ULI Global Awards for Excellence finalist, the development has become an educational resource for students, conference attendees, storm water educators, and others interested in sustainable building.