MBH Architects announced that they have been named a Grand Award Winner at the 57th annual Gold Nugget Awards. MBH was recognized in the “Best Affordable Housing Community - Under 30 du/acre” category for their work on the Fetters Apartments and Celestina Garden Apartments development in the San Francisco Bay Area. Designed in collaboration with local firm Jon Worden Architects and MidPen Housing, the Fetters Apartments and Celestina Garden Apartments development provides affordable rentals to low-income families and seniors in one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation.

“We are highly honored to receive this esteemed award,” says Rick Christiani, Principal at MBH Architects. Spanning over seven years and two phases of construction, this multi-generational living community provides people most in need with a home and resources to help them in their daily life. “To be recognized by the Gold Nugget Awards for this extensive project is an honor for the project team and the entire firm.” 

Fetters Apartments was the first phase of the development and consists of 60 units offered with one to three bedrooms, spread across five buildings. Celestina Garden Apartments, the second phase, provides 40 affordable units for low-income seniors with eight units reserved for homeless seniors as well as seniors displaced by the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires. Both developments offer residents ample amenities, including accessibility to a community garden, a public bike and pedestrian trail, and children’s playgrounds.

Environmentally-friendly elements were an important part of the design of each unit. Consequently, the team specified low VOC coatings and sealants; cabinetry with no added urea-formaldehyde; GREENGUARD-certified flooring; and Energy Star appliances. Efficient heating and cooling equipment regulate each unit, while solar thermal panels on the building’s exterior preheat water used by the entire community. In addition, photovoltaic panels provide clean energy for all indoor common areas as well as landscape lighting.  

The Gold Nugget Awards program is the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the nation. The program honors design and planning achievements in community and home design, green-built housing, site planning, commercial, retail, mixed-use development and specialty housing categories. This year’s winners were selected from among 575 entries from around the world.