Energy efficiency and water conservation — the building trades and the Green Industry are starting to think alike. We're encouraged.
Atlanta-based Ashton Woods Homes recently announced that it completed a sustainable landscaping and irrigation implementation at The Enclave at Riverwalk in East Cobb near Atlanta. The company builds high-performance new homes in growth communities in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix and Tampa.
The home builder touts its communities as being close to jobs, shopping and transportation corridors, effectively balancing healthy-house features with energy efficiency and saving homeowners as much as 45% per year on utility bills.
The Enclave, near Atlanta, was developed with the goal of providing residents with a sustainable landscape design and use of non-potable, harvested rainwater to provide for the complete irrigation needs of the entire community.
“We had a unique opportunity based on several site specific factors, and the catalyst of the Georgia EPD watering restrictions during the drought last year," said Chris Sears, a local registered landscape architect and LEED-accredited pro who was commissioned to design and oversee the entire installation process. "This allowed us to be proactive and initiate a strategy that just a few years ago would not have been a realistic cost-effective option."
The sustainable landscape and irrigation project included, installing several underground cisterns to hold approximately 7500 gallons of rainwater; which is collected from roofs of several buildings, and will be pumped into a highly efficient irrigation system. Minimizing the amount of lawn areas and utilizing more drought tolerant and native plantings are all factors in the planning for the success of this strategy.