With the cooperation of Amherst Township, City of Amherst, and Lorain County Community Development among others, we created Amherst Townships first Conservation Development. We were able to take 20 acres of land mass and leave over 10 acres for green space, of which 6 acres were left natural and mulched for a walking trail through the woods(no trees removed). The trees removed for site construction were turned over to a mill to be processed for lumber and the balance mulched on site and used for the walking trail. Rocks excavated during site construction weren’t allowed to be removed from the sites we could use them throughout the development including the benches along the walking trail. Again trying to use materials on site has less impact on the environment.
The perimeter of this development also has buffer zones know as common areas along with mounding. These areas have, or already have landscaped beds and trees giving wild life a safe heaven. The landscaping designs at these areas were also designed for low maintenance, also using recycled mulch for those beds.
When designing storm water management for this development we have created a Rain Garden detention which will allow the storm water to leave the site at a slow rate and cleaner than before we purchased the property. The rain garden detention, when complete will have the entire area grassed only to be mowed no more than twice a year and landscaping areas throughout. These landscaped areas will have plants native to Ohio and have the ability to absorb water at a faster rate and clean the water along the way. These plantings again will attract wild life to the area. Rain water produced by these homes will have the opportunity to percolate back into the ground, purifying itself before it reaches our lakes and streams.
In a conservation development one only needs 25% of land area to be left as green space, as you read above we left over 50% of the land mass for green space. With conservation development, developed lots are allowed to have less square footage, shorter set backs from the road and sidewalks place by the curb (no more curb lawns). All this leads to less impervious surfaces placed, less stone fill used and less underground infrastructure installed which leads to less impact on the environment.
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Building Green Homes for Our Future by Bob Perritt
In recent months, the term "green building" has appeared more and more in the mainstream media, attracting interest among homebuyers and builderswho tend to have a broad idea of the concept, but few specific details. What many people don't realize is that green homes are unmatched in terms of both quality and performance.
As a founding member of the Northeast Ohio Green Building Initiative, the growth in Green Building is consumer driven. Consumers are demanding homes that have lower operation, utility and maintenance costs and offer a healthier living environment.
Green Building involves the use of environmentally-sensitive design principles, materials, and construction methodologies, as well as the use of low- to no-maintenance building techniques. It's designed to significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of building on the environment. Sound elements of Green Building including effective and sustainable site planning, the efficient use of resources, the avoidance of harmful or toxic materials, reduced material waste, and blending home designs into the natural landscape. The goal is to have zero negative impact or a positive impact on the environment. read more >
Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Building Solutions for Today’s Residential Construction
Our goal is to provide a home to fit your lifestyle utilizing green building practices.
Environmentally sensitive areas were avoided and/or protected during construction.
Soil disturbance was minimized during the excavation of your dwelling.
Fabric filters installed at the storm sewers provide sediment control into our lakes. Downspouts are not tied into storm sewers (where allowed), allowing moisture to percolate back into the soil; hence, less pollutants entering our lakes.
During the framing of your dwelling, lumber bypasses the landfill and is now recycled for mulch.
Moisture sensitive areas were protected against mold and rot with ice and water shield. A drip edge has been installed along all roof edges to protect the framing.
The HVAC system has been installed with media filters. We’ve made it easy to replace these filters every 5-6 months which helps with healthier indoor air quality and increases HVAC efficiency. MERV rated 9 or greater.
The furnace operates at 98% efficiency with horizontal venting (no more heat going up the flue). This also provides outside air for sealed combustion to chamber for better indoor air quality.
Bath fans are sized according to each room and vented to the exterior. Removing moisture from those rooms in a timely manner will reduce mold growth.
Moisture control in your dwelling is very important. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers need to be monitored correctly. With too much moisture, mold grows. Not enough moisture causes respiratory problems.
Your faucets, shower heads and water closets have a low flow (gpm)by 20% for less water consumption. Even your dishwasher (Energy Star) meets energy standards. Your hot water tank, being centrally located between your faucets, saves energy also or by selecting a tankless water heater by Navien.
As you become accustomed to your dwelling, we recommend you invest into longer-lasting fluorescent bulbs, which use less energy.
Your dwelling has R-60 attic insulation, R-19 side wall insulation. A caulk and sealant package for reduced air infiltration was applied.
Low-E glass windows are installed which reduce energy costs along with blocking some of the sun’s UV rays. You will notice that your dwelling will be much quieter to exterior noise.
Indoor paints used were a low or no VOC paint. These paints have less impact on our environment and less odor. Since paints are manufactured close by, there are lower transportation emissions and fuel consumption.
Mohawk carpet manufacturers have made efforts in their process to reduce the amount of resources they use. Mohawk is one of the world’s largest recyclers of plastic soda and water bottles. They are leaders in recycling old tires by molding them into durable designer doormats. Some carpets were created with either soybean or corn plants. Shaw carpet now offers Anso nylon products that contain post consumer recycled contents. These nylon products are also recycled for a cradle to cradle program (carpet made from carpet).
Many of the outdoor plants are drought resistant, requiring less water to survive. Also, when available, dwellings can be mulched with recycled wood.
Remember to call your city hall to inquire about how their recycling programs works in your community.
Keeping you healthy and the environment safe one step at a time.
Green Building for Our Future continued...
The good news for Northeast Ohio residents is that building or buying a green home is easy. We invite you to stop by our decorated model and talk to Bob the builder about our green building practices.
While some reports indicate that green homes may cost slightly more to build, research clearly shows that homeowners recoup the additional costs over time. Among other things, they'll also benefit from:
Energy Efficiency, Which Equals Energy Savings. Saving energy is one of the cornerstones of green building. Techniques include utilizing energy efficient appliances and lighting, proper building orientation to take advantage of solar gains, and proper sizing of heating and cooling systems. Because of these practices, homeowners can save thousands of dollars on their electric, gas and water bills over the life of their home.
Improved Indoor Air Quality. By employing various strategies, such as using low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) latex paints, builders can greatly improve the indoor air quality of their homes, creating a healthier environment for homeowners reducing off gassing of products used.
Less Maintenance. Green homes are designed to minimize the amount of time and money required for maintenance by employing durable building products and focusing on the quality of construction.
Mortgage Benefits. Energy Efficiency Mortgages provide special benefits fo people who purchase homes that are energy efficient. They also provide extra funds for people willing to install energy-saving improvements that make their new homes more efficient. Even if you are remodeling or refinancing your home, you can use an Energy Efficiency Mortgage
This type of easy-to-use home funding is available through the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration. It can allow homebuyers to stretch their debt-to- income ratios by up to two percent on new and existing homes that meet energy efficiency standards.
Green Communities. A project we're very prod of is Copper Creek in Amherst Township. It's the first conservation/green development in the area. We were able to take 20 acres of land mass and leave over 10 acres of green space, of which 6 acres were left natural and mulched for a walking rail through the woods (no trees removed). The trees removed for site construction were turned over to a mill to be processed for lumber and the balance mulched on site and used for the walking trail.
In a conservation development only 25% of the land area is required to be left as green space, ad noted above we were able to leave over 50% of the land mass for green space.
Developed lots are allowed to have less square footage, shorter set backs from the road and sidewalks place by the curb (no more curb lawns). All this leads to less impervious surfaces placed, less stone fill used and less underground infrastructure installed which leads to less impact on the environment.
Of course, these attributes are in addition to knowing that consumers homes will be built with less environmental impactboth during construction (by minimizing waste and incorporating renewable materials) and throughout its entire life.
I encourage anyone thinking about buying a new home to consider going "green". You can learn more by stopping by our mdel and talking to Bob the builder.