Sustainable Georgia Roundup
Green Home Building Grows: According to a 2017 study commissioned by the National Association of Homebuilders, green construction is a rapidly growing trend among single-family and multifamily homebuilders nationwide. In fact, one-third of homebuilders say sustainable dwellings comprise more than 60 percent of their portfolios, and by 2022, nearly half of homebuilders say they will be building green. Some are taking the trend even further, with 29 percent of single-family homebuilders who say they have constructed a net-zero house – one that generates as much power as it uses – and 44 percent expect to do so in the next two years.
Two communities are under construction that exemplify the sustainable housing trend. Sweet Apple, in Milton, will be Georgia’s first residential neighborhood to include solar panels as a standard feature. Builder Brightwater Homes will install a 10- to 12-panel solar roof array on each of Sweet Apple’s 21 homes and make other solar options available, including more panels and Tesla Powerwall back-up battery storage systems. In addition, the neighborhood will have 20 acres of protected natural space with wooded trails, a lake and a creek. Construction is underway, with completion of the first homes slated for this spring.
Atlanta’s upper west side will soon welcome the city’s first Smart Neighborhood, the result of a partnership between Georgia Power and builder PulteGroup. The townhomes in the Altus at the Quarter development will have power supplemented by rooftop solar installations and in-home battery energy storage. These features will accompany the latest energy technologies, including optimal insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems, LED lighting and automated thermostats and locks. Georgia Power will study the neighborhood’s energy usage and performance data for insights into how sustainable housing can be improved. The development’s grand opening is expected later this year.