Cherokee Announces Its Green Demonstration Home Project

Sep 13, 2006 at 12:00 AM

Cherokee Announces Its Green Demonstration Home Project at National Association of Homebuilders’ National Green Building Conference
National leader in brownfield redevelopment creating environmentally-superior home within an existing community to serve as a showcase home for homebuilders nationwide

Albuquerque, N.M. – Cherokee Investment Partners, a world leader in sustainable revitalization of environmentally impaired properties, announced today at the National Association of Homebuilders’ (NAHB) Green Building Conference that their Mainstream GreenHome will be the first of its kind known to be built in a traditional development.

The GreenHome is designed to meet green building standards, while looking and functioning as a traditional home. As a firm that specializes in brownfield redevelopment, it is Cherokee’s hope that the lessons learned from this project will catalyze the transformation of mainstream green homebuilding nationwide. Built primarily as a demonstration home, it is intended to persuade the mainstream, conventional builders of most of America’s homes to embrace green building on a national level.

Conventional in almost all aspects, the mainstream green home is designed to become an idea home for the environmentally conscious homebuilder. The GreenHome will showcase a mix of practices, concepts and features that may make sense for either individual mainstream construction or large-scale developments. The GreenHome project hopes to prove that residential green building can be a viable and even preferable means of construction for both average homeowners and home building companies.

“We have an opportunity to influence large-scale development and vertical construction. Starting with the tens of thousands of homes that will be built on the sites we currently own, we have launched our Green Initiative, and are kicking it off with the Mainstream GreenHome. This seems like something we should have been doing years ago. We need to innovate ways to integrate more sustainability features into the horizontal and vertical construction of our sites,” said Tom Darden, CEO of Cherokee.

Cherokee’s design and construction of this home makes it the first home in the nation known to be built in a typical subdivision under NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines and one of three green homes in the nation to meet such guidelines. The others are non-subdivision homes located in State College, Pa. and in Albuquerque, N.M. The home will be located near Cherokee’s headquarters in Raleigh, N.C.

“With construction on a typical lot with suboptimal green building attributes, with a conventional builder who has not previously built ’green,’ we are purposefully recreating the challenging reality of integrating ‘green’ into mainstream homebuilding. We hope to reverse the negative stigma that can sometimes be associated with green building and show that environmentally conscious construction is not incompatible with conventional building and better living,” said Jonathan Philips, Senior Director with Cherokee.

The home’s many innovative and environmental friendly features, including items such as geo-source heat pumps, innovative insulation and water management systems, will result in:

  • Using 50% less fossil fuel that the conventional home
  • Recycling or reusing 90% of all organic waste on site
  • Consuming 50% less water than the conventional home
  • Recycling 75% of all construction and demolition waste
  • Retaining 95% of all storm water on site for reuse
  • Creating a nature wildlife habitat
  • Providing exceptional indoor air quality with 95% of all products having low or zero volatile organic compounds

“Cherokee’s commitment to the environment matched with their energy for green construction make them a perfect fit for creating a mainstream green home,” said NAHB president David Pressly, a home builder and developer from Statesville, N.C. “They are coming into the project with their builder just as any other traditional homebuilder would, facing the same issues anyone else would, and they are going to prove that green building isn’t so radical and that those hundreds of green decisions are important to our environment and the future of homebuilding.”

The economics of building green have been debated and more research is needed. However, Philips adds, “we strongly suspect that many aspects of green-building can be incorporated in financially intelligent ways. While not all features will make financial sense in a single home context, we believe an even greater environmental impact can be made, and in a financially prudent way, when one is integrating sustainable design from the start into large scale development.”

Cherokee’s residential green building goals are much larger than this single home in Raleigh. With its broad scope – having redevelopment projects planned or underway throughout the United States, Canada and into Western Europe – Cherokee is uniquely situated to influence from the top-down the ‘greenness’ of some of the nation’s largest homebuilders, developers, real estate investors and contractors.

While initial grading and foundation construction has already begun, the official groundbreaking for the home is scheduled for April 3, 2006.