When we have an open house at one of our LEED homes, the question I am most frequently asked is “what makes this house green?” I frequently answer that question by first addressing all of the things apart from the home that make a home green.
Green building is not just the structure and mechanics of a home. Green building is also very much concerned with promoting healthy lifestyles. For example, a home that is located in a downtown location close to shopping, schools, libraries and restaurants promotes a healthy lifestyle because it facilitates walking to these ‘community resources’ instead of always getting in the car. A pedestrian friendly location is of course also beneficial to the environment since it reduces emissions.
We built our latest LEED home in downtown Davidson for an active adult. While the home was built on a small, one-tenth acre lot, we created a number of spaces where the homeowner can get outside. In these photos we show a space that we designed for cornhole, a favorite pastime of the homeowner and her grandchildren. We also created other outdoor spaces such as a flower garden, raised beds for gardens, and a patio.
There’s not enough space to play flag football, but if the homeowner wants to do that it’s only a three minute walk to a public space where there is ample room for football. This convenient location is another aspect of green building: locating neighborhoods where there is easy access to public recreational activities such as parks, fields and greenways. These locations facilitate building homes on smaller lots, and thus minimizing the loss of open space. Open space preservation will be a topic of a future green building blog. Stay tuned.