green house

Construction of any building has an impact – on the physical location where it is built, on the surroundings, and on the pocketbook of those involved in the building’s creation.  A ‘new’ way of building has emerged since the 1990’s that is now sweeping the nation.  Green Building is here – and it is everywhere at Pringle Creek Community.

cousteau loop beginning to take shape with six LEED certified houses! copy

Cousteau Loop at Pringle Creek Community

shared space between homes copy

Planned density in a Pringle Creek Community neighborhood

‘Green’ building is creating a building with the environment, energy use, and society in mind.  Instead of simply creating a structure to keep the elements out (for the most part) and to last for at least one or two generations, a ‘green’ building is built in a way that lessens the impact upon the environment and society through seeing the whole process through a low-impact lens and considering the health of those who will occupy the building as well as the well-being of those who live nearby.

A ‘green’ builder sources materials that are recycled, reused, or harvested sustainably.  The builder also considers the content of building materials.  Particle board containing formaldehyde, for example, is never used since making that particle board is harmful to the environment and since such a product off-gases, making the home environment unhealthy.  Many ‘green’ builders use Forest Stewardship Council certified wood products, ensuring that the wood they use is sourced sustainably.  The builder also considers the waste-stream and works to create as little waste as possible.  Building so as to minimize a negative impact to the surrounding environment is another way that green building sets itself apart from conventional builders.

There are a number of third-party certification systems such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Green Globe, Energy Star for buildings, and the National Green Building Standard.  They all exist to ensure that claims made by a builder are genuine and true.  Third party certifiers have standards and levels of certification builders must adhere to in order to make claims about the quality of their homes or commercial buildings. All of the buildings built at Pringle Creek Community are built to LEED standards and at this time they are all gold or platinum certified.

Of course, ‘green’ buildings are also energy efficient saving energy AND money. Green buildings save money since they are built well-insulated and using efficient systems such as solar, wind, or geothermal power.  Even if a ‘green’ home uses conventional energy, the insulation ability of the house decreases the power consumption of the home overall.

As our population continues to grow, even incrementally, the need for housing grows, too.  It is truly best for all of us, and for all living things, if we build ‘green.’  It just makes the most sense.