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September 25, 2012 1:36 pm  •  Rob Earnshaw Times Correspondent

BURNS HARBOR | The state’s first green-certified multi-housing complex was celebrated Tuesday as the newest addition to The Village in Burns Harbor.

Traditions, developed by Merrillville-based In Good Company, features about 180 units that use water-efficient appliances fixtures and filtration systems, drought-resistant and low maintenance landscaping, high levels of insulation and high-performance windows. Techniques in the building include using engineered wood, wood alternatives and recycled building materials.

Mark Maassel, president and CEO, Northwest Indiana Forum, said the complex is a key part of how “we get people to live in this region.”

“The sustainability of the complex will carry long into the future,” he said. “This is not something we can simply feel good about today. It’s something we know is going to continue to build and improve the quality of life here in Northwest Indiana.”

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind, said he will continue to work with local partners to encourage construction practices that lower costs and minimize the impact on Northwest Indiana’s natural spaces.

“We are better off because of this development,” he said. “The environment is better because of this development, and people have gone to work and been paid a reasonable wage because of this development.”

In Good Company managing partner Michael Sakich said the National Association of Home Builders green certification means incorporating environmental considerations and research efficiency to every step in the home building and land development process, as well as minimizing environmental impact.

“It’s a practical response to a variety of issues that affect all of us like increasing energy prices, waning water resources and changing weather patterns,” he said.

Traditions offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with a monthly rental rate range of $729 to $1,299.