From Dean Dowd on March 17, 2009 in Green Remodeling
Up in the Chattahoochee Hill country, youll find Serenbe, a sustainable-living cottage community in rural Palmetto, GA. The developers planned this community with the focus on preserving the pristine nature of the landscape and adopting green building principles. The 900-acre Greenfield community has kept 70% of its woods, meadows, and wetlands untouched.
The cottages are quaint and the whole environment leaves you with a sense of belonging. This is a place where people truly take pride in their healthy lifestyle and community. The development includes a 30-acre organic farm that supplies a local farmers market, 3 restaurants, and members of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
This community has it all: quaint shops, walking trails, pedestrian friendly streets, a beautiful inn, restaurants, horse stables, and art galleries.
Its buildings are warmed and cooled using geothermal technology, and its houses, which overlook lakes and green space, are built using solar heating and energy-efficient appliances. They incorporated a natural storm water management system, and waste water is filtered and reused for toilet flushing and irrigation. Each home is certified to EarthCraft Homes green standards. All homes at Serenbe back up to one of four types of preserved land; forest, wildflower meadows, organic farm, or pasture.
The developers vision was inspired and modeled after environmentally conscious Prairie Crossing, in Grayslake, Illinois, which has become an international prototype for suburban, environmentally-friendly communities since it opened in 1995. Youll now find communities like Prairie Crossing and Serenbe sprouting up in rural areas across the country. The main theme of these communities: land preservation, energy conservation, and green building.
People are seeing how sustainable living can positively impact their lives and communities like Serenbe are making it even more attractive.
Builders who are suffering from the housing bust are hoping that Obamas pledge of $15 billion in green money will help pull the housing industry out of its slump. According to McGraw Hill Construction, theyre projecting that over the next four years, the green building market could triple from $36 - $49 billion in 2008 to $96 -140 billion in 2013.
Communities such as Serenbe and Prairie Crossing are setting new and higher standards making green living and solar technology more mainstream and popular than ever before.