If your income is at a level similar to mine, you probably sigh in despair as you read about all these shiny new eco-villages and zero-emission homes. Those things are expensive; they might save money in the long run, but it’s often hard to come up with the cash up front.
Now architect George Watt and Silver Lining Builders are teaming up to build the first affordable, completely net-zero neighborhood in the US. Called SpringLeaf, the development in the north of Boulder, Colorado, basically streamlines green technologies by making them more shareable. Inhabitat reports:
With the SpringLeaf model home already completed and construction the other homes started, this exciting project looks like it will serve as a great example for future communities and neighborhoods.
Built according to LEED standards in hopes of achieving Platinum certification, the interior is outfitted with non-toxic paints and furnishings, like recycled countertops and bamboo cabinets. A strong focus was placed on insulation to make the home more efficient, and smart design allowed builders to conserve resources by using less lumber. A geothermal heat pump system works to provide efficient heating and cooling and the entire home is electric, which is powered by the pv system, so there is no natural gas used whatsoever.
Located on Broadway and Poplar Ave in Northern Boulder, the 1.5 acre neighborhood is conveniently located across from a market, shops and restaurants and with easy access via bus to the rest of the city. Six townhomes border Broadway, while six single-family homes sit back behind around a communal park. All the homes will be orientated to the south and photovoltaic systems can installed on the roof, which will completely provide the homes with all the energy they need.
The townhomes will be about 2,800 sq ft, while the largest single family home will be about 4,000 sq ft. The model home was built at a cost of about $300 per square foot, but the developers estimate the rest of the homes will cost $200 per square foot.