Green is everywhere, from the cars we buy to the food we eat; the demand for environmentally friendly products and services seems to be insatiable. Green is spreading to every aspect of our life, including the homes we live in. To see this, let’s take a look at the Daybreak Community, Utah’s largest development and maybe surprisingly one the most environmentally friendly developments. To examine the various aspects of a green community we will look at three different areas, the home itself, the home exterior and the actual community.
Daybreak Homes comply with the ENERGY STAR standard. This means they are up to 30% more energy efficient than a standard new construction home. This is obtained via various means including installation of extra insulation, and high-efficiency furnaces/air conditioning units. In order to ensure that homes comply they have to undergo a process of inspection and testing. If people want to go the extra mile there are also homes that use solar panels and geothermal. The solar panels are used to heat hot water and provide electricity, while the geothermal works by exchanging heat from the ground to both heat and cool the home.
While some people think that green living finishes with the property, Daybreak has extended this to include the yard. There are restrictions enforced by the homeowners association which dictate what a homeowner can do with their yard. This includes limiting the amount of yard covered by grass and requiring the use of local drought-tolerant plants. In addition to this, the sprinkler systems are connected to a weather station. All these items are designed to conserve the use of water. For those people who want to grow their own vegetables, a number of community gardens are located throughout the development.
Daybreak is designed to be a walkable community, with schools, offices, restaurants, parks, and the many leisure facilities all connected by over 30 miles of trails. The idea is that you have access to many local facilities without the need to drive, which of course is better for the environment. In addition to this Daybreak is home to 2 TRAX light rail stops, which provide access to downtown SLC and others parts of the valley. Water conservation plays a big part in Daybreak, in addition to the use of local planting, the common areas and parks within the community are irrigated using a secondary water collection and irrigation system and the stormwater management system is designed to capture 100% of all rainwater. All electrical power used in the development of the community is purchased from renewable resources and home builders within the community are required to recycle 70% of construction waste.As you can see environmentally friendly living goes well beyond the borders of the home and deep into the community. A well designed and sustainable approach to new construction communities, even the very large ones, is possible and can only for good for us and the planet. This article was written by Trela Bird Realtor, providing Salt Lake Real Estate services throughout the valley.Tel. No.: 801-450-3535Email: [email protected]