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Success Stories

Shinsei Gardens Takes Green to a New Level

Shinsei Gardens is an award-winning housing development with 39 apartments for low-income households. With a Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape and LEED Platinum and GreenPoint Rated buildings, the project provides residents with a healthy and attractive environment indoors and outdoors.


  • Before planting, the organic matter content of the site's soil was increased by growing cover crops including peas, beans, vetch, clovers and buckwheat and tilling this "green manure" back into the soil
  • The soil quality was further improved with amendments including with worm compost, oyster shells, feather meal and soft rock phosphate
  • Recycled content materials were used extensively in the landscape, including recycled plastic headers, decking and play surfacing; 27% post-consumer recycled steel and aluminum play structures; 98% recycled aggregate under all pavement surfaces; and 50% recycled flyash in the concrete


  • 286,000 gallons of irrigation water are saved annually compared to a similar conventional landscape design
  • 120 tons of local, recycled compost were used
  • 75% of plants need little irrigation water
  • 152 tons of landscape construction and demolition waste were recycled instead of landfilled
  • Bay-Friendly landscape practices reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 38 tons CO2E


Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape score: 85

Year rated: 2009

Bay-Friendly Rater: Cynthia Greenberg, Placeworks




Click here for a detailed case study about Shinsei Gardens' green building and Bay-Friendly features