In 2007 issues like pollution, cancer and global warming are found on the American news every week. In the last five years these universal problems have been acknowledged and started to emerge in mainstream consciousness. Solutions such as renewable energy, green building and organic farming are now hot topics being talked about on TV, in newspapers and on the radio. In order to preserve the planet for future generations, it is essential that natural green building is embraced and eco homes and other green practices become the standard. One community that is leading the way is a beautiful city nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains: Asheville, North Carolina.
Working Together to Preserve Western North Carolina
In the Blue Ridge Mountains of WNC environmental concerns are a top priority. Preserving the natural environment of the mountains insures the health and safety of communities throughout the region. The city of Asheville, along with other counties and towns in WNC, like Black Mountain, recognizes that green space, green building and alternative resources are the wave of the future. Asheville is home to numerous green projects and initiatives. Blue Ridge BioFuels is an organization that has opened six biodiesel pumps at gas stations in the area. Blue Ridge BioFuels also supplies BioHeat for furnaces. Home delivery and competitive prices make it simple to begin using alternative fuels at home and on the road. Green building also plays a huge role in preserving local natural resources. Use of recycled construction materials, rainwater collection systems, and solar power all benefit the forests, animals and people.
The Possibilities Are Endless With Green Real Estate in Asheville, NC
In December of 2006 Asheville joined about fifty other municipalities across the country and passed a resolution stating that all new municipal buildings will be built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) specifications. LEED is a nationally accepted green building rating system created by the U.S, Green Building Council, http://www.usgbc.org, and sets the standard for the design, construction and maintenance of energy efficient homes and buildings. Asheville is also home to the Western North Carolina Green Building Council (WNCGBC), http://www.wncgbc.org. WNCGBC educates local contractors and builders about the latest green building techniques and practices. WNCGBC also works with city, state and county officials to make eco-friendly recommendations for local building standards. In Asheville, NC homebuyers searching for eco houses or green home building projects have a variety of options from downtown apartments to eco-friendly, real estate developments.
Sustainable Green Building: Find the Perfect, Eco-Friendly Real Estate in Western North Carolina
In Asheville, NC many homeowners, architects and builders work diligently to follow eco-friendly building, design and maintenance plans. To complete a green building project specific topics must be addressed including:
- Sustainable Development
- Alternative Energy
- Energy Efficiency
- Green Building Materials
- Forest Preservation
- Renewable Resources
Whether you are searching for a green condo centrally located in downtown Asheville or an eco home in a private, gated community you can find the perfect green real estate in Western North Carolina. In the mountains it is simple to contribute and help preserve Asheville’s excellent quality of life for years to come.
Green Development is a relatively new concept that relies on the premise of conserving energy and utilizing it efficiently. Through improved siting, design, construction and maintenance, Green Development enhances the efficiency of materials and ensures their optimal use.
The concept of Green Development should be inculcated with sustainable development to ensure benefits like increased productivity, reduced operating costs, improved indoor air quality, as well as lesser water runoff and heat island effect. The practice of Green Development does not imply that the resulting structure will lack in appearance and style. Green Developments can be equally elegant structures having the desirable ecological benefits. This sort of a construction concept is necessary for environmental conversation and is regulated by standards created by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Green Development aims to construct structures with minimal impact to the environment. The key is to ensure that the materials used in the construction are green indicating that they are local, non-toxic and naturally renewable. Examples include bamboo, oak, straw, stone etc. Other Green Development construction techniques entail the inclusion of large windows for ample sunshine to enter thus, reducing the dependence on electricity; thermal mass that can heat and cool the building during different seasons; energy efficient machinery like refrigerators, stoves and ground source heat pumps; and insulation to prevent energy loss. It is also important to ensure proper waste disposal mechanism. A major factor that can significantly benefit the environment is the use of renewable energy sources like wind energy, hydro energy and solar energy.
The increasing popularity of the Green Development concept has led many countries to establish standards. The pioneers are the U.S. Green Building Council; other bodies include U.K’s Code for Sustainable Homes, Canada’s EnerGuide for Houses, Switzerland’s Minergie, Australia’s House Energy Rating and others. These countries are actively pursuing environmental friendly Green Development techniques to promise environmental health and sustenance. Some of the renowned Green Builders are Walter Segal, Steve Baer, Rocky Mountain Institute, Ken Yeang and James Wines.
San Jose, California has presented an excellent example which reflects Green Development concepts. Due to the unprecedented growth and economic development of San Jose in 1960s and 1970s, there arose a need to meet the growing urban demands. The answer was Santana Row which is a San Jose shopping centre consisting of several chic brand retailers like Gucci, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Crate and Barrel, Borders etc. Santana Row is the formulation of the shopping, dining and living dream; it boasts of 680,000 square feet of retail space; 1,200 luxury rental units including town houses, lofts, and flats; a 214- room hotel; a 12-screen entertainment cinema; 5,200 parking spaces; a pedestrian-friendly main street; public open space; plazas and courtyards. State-of-the-art facilities equipped with modern construction and amenities make Santana Row a much desirable spot for people from all walks of life. Santana Row efficiently utilized the available resources at hand to create a unique, successful and popular structure.
Santana Row has evolved as an outstanding creation that entails all facets of life within 43 acres of land. This very fact proves the competent use of limited land. Whatever the need may be, Santana Row provides the answer; it is the epitome of the one-stop concept to meet all needs.
Mixed use development is the name given to similar structures that are intended for many purposes like shopping, dining and living. Street Works is a team of professional developers, architects and planners who initiate concepts in urban locales and passionately take steps to materialize their concepts.
Street Works excels in identifying potential locations for a business opportunity and then taking appropriate steps to analyze, design and create a plan that would work with the requirements of the area. This gives birth to construction and development ideas that are relatively new. These include mixed use, residential, commercial as well as urban revitalization projects.
Street Works has been successful in identifying a few projects that can be potentially lucrative opportunities for the involved businesses. These include 620 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, Quincy in Massachusetts, Blue Black Square in Connecticut, Reston Town Centre in Virginia and a few more. Street Works aspires to create the Santana Row phenomenon in each of these areas where retailers, restaurants, cinemas and builders will collectively provide an array of services and facilities to the residents and customers. Street works has arrived at these locations by conducting extensive market research and analysis. The importance of market research cannot be stressed enough before the launch of any project. Potential impacts of the project should be carefully assessed before the idea starts taking shape. In this manner, one can be prepared to handle the various difficulties, challenges and situations a project may present.
The increasing population and development presents an opportunity to take up similar projects and explore the possibilities. Land and other limited resources should be put to proficient use and thus create an environmental friendly and convenient experience for all. Although a mixed use development project is a risky proposition, adequate research and study will help to choose areas that have the best chances of thriving with mixed use developmental structures. The most popular choice for a mixed use development considering all elements tends to be the downtown area of a city. Planners and developers have made several observations and predictions about the success and benefits of such structures; but despite all noted pros and cons, mixed use developments have immense potential and promise to be the most visited and acclaimed places provided the areas they are built in are easily accessible and acceptable to the residents of the city.