Cherokee Investment Partners Breaks Ground on Mainstream GreenHome™ of the Future

Jul 19, 2006 at 12:00 AM

Raleigh, N.C. – Cherokee Investment Partners, a world leader in the sustainable revitalization of environmentally impaired properties, held an official groundbreaking today for its National Homebuilder Mainstream GreenHomeTM in Raleigh, N.C. – the first of its kind known to be built in a typical suburban neighborhood.

We are seizing the opportunity to influence the greening of large-scale development and vertical construction. Starting with the tens of thousands of homes that will be built on the sites we are currently cleaning-up, we have launched our green initiative, and we are kicking it off with the Mainstream GreenHomeTM. Not only are we cleaning and greening hundreds of brownfield sites nationally, but we are exploring innovative ways to integrate more sustainable features into the horizontal and vertical construction of our sites,” said Tom Darden, CEO of Cherokee.

The Mainstream GreenHomeTM showcases a number of innovative, environmentally friendly features, while looking and functioning as a traditional home. Cherokee expects that the lessons learned from this project will encourage the mainstreaming of sustainable homebuilding practices nationwide. The Mainstream GreenHomeTM is intended to help reverse the negative stigma sometimes associated with green building and show that environmentally-focused construction is compatible with conventional building and better living.

Homeowners and home building companies alike stand to benefit by taking an increased interest in the environmental performance of a home. Homeowners may enjoy lower utility bills, better indoor air quality, and an overall healthier and more comfortable living environment, while homebuilders may enjoy improved market differentiation, enhanced regulatory approvals and home sale premiums.

Cherokee’s GreenHomeTM is the first home in the nation known to be built in a typical subdivision under the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Model Green Home Building Guidelines and is just one of three green homes in the nation known to meet such guidelines. In addition, the home will be certified with the Environmental Protection Agency/US Department of Energy (EPA/DOE) Energy Star Program and the North Carolina Solar Center’s Healthy Built Homes state program, among others.

“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 national president David Pressly.

“We are purposefully tackling the gritty integration of ‘green’ into mainstream homebuilding. The Mainstream GreenHomeTM is being built on a typical one-third acre lot, with suboptimal natural green building attributes, and with a conventional builder who has not previously built ‘green,’” said Jonathan Philips, Senior Director with Cherokee.

Conventional in almost every aspect, the GreenHomeTM is designed as an idea home that will showcase a mix of products, systems and techniques that could make sense for individual construction projects or large-scale developments. As green building becomes more mainstream and is injected into the early design process, costs associated with green building will continue to fall.

“The GreenHomeTM represents a new milestone in mainstream green construction,” according to global sustainability guru, author and architect William McDonough, chairman of the architecture and community design firm, William McDonough + Partners. “This demonstration home provides the average homebuilder with a model for making a typical American home green. Cherokee’s work is a tremendous service to the long-term sustainability of our environment.”

Environmental factors are taken into account in every aspect of the home, from landscaping using edible and/or drought tolerant plants to rainwater catchment and reuse systems. The home utilizes a range of technological innovations to minimize impact on the environment without sacrificing comfort. As a result, the GreenHomeTM aims to:

  • Use 50% less fossil fuel than the conventional home
  • Recycle or reuse 90% of all organic waste on site
  • Consume 50% less water than the conventional home
  • Recycle 75% of all construction and demolition waste
  • Retain 95% of all storm water on site for reuse
  • Create wildlife habitats
  • Provide exceptional indoor air quality with 95% of all products having low or zero volatile organic compounds

The project will serve as a living laboratory. Attention to sustainability metrics, such as energy and water conservation and indoor air quality will continue after construction is complete, and data will be shared with a broad audience. Moreover, through the use of superior insulation, Energy Star-certified windows and appliances, ground source heat pumps, solar hot water and photovoltaic systems, and renewable energy credits, the GreenHomeTM seeks to eliminate its carbon emissions from home energy use.

“We welcome Cherokee’s new and innovative ways of bringing greener, more sustainable housing to the City of Raleigh,” said Charles Meeker, Mayor of Raleigh.

The GreenHomeTM is expected to be completed in the fall of 2006 and will be available for tours.

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