The forms of sustainability

The forms of sustainability

Lot51Jan“Sustainability,” as a buzzword, is exhibiting amazing staying power. Farmers, grocers, car manufacturers, and of course homebuilders are throwing it around like confetti. It’s being used so ubiquitously that it seems everything today is sustainable. But of course we know it isn’t.

What is “sustainability,” when we’re talking about a home?

First, and most vitally, it means a home you can afford. If payments, utilities, and maintenance are taking a punishing chunk of your income, that’s unsustainable. Any unforeseen expense can push you over the edge. You’ll lie awake at night worrying. (Sleep deprivation itself is unsustainable.)

The current median price for a single-family home in Seattle is $525,900. Prices for our homes in the Highlands at Langley aren’t even in the same universe. Base for our two models in the new Clover Court neighborhood are $354,000 and $384,000.

Moving on to ecology, the most sustainable developments are those that minimize our human impact on the planet. When we do our best to preserve the integrity of nature’s own systems, we reduce the possibility of disrupting things that we may not even understand.

At the Highlands, we’re doing everything possible to not intrude. For example, we contribute no storm water to city storm drains. All storm water is managed through techniques such as pervious pathways and rain gardens. Thus we reduce the possibility of washing chemical fertilizers and pesticides into Puget Sound.

And of course we want to use natural resources, such as building material and fuel, as conservatively as we can.

All the Highlands’ homes are sided with HardiePlank, a composite of wood cellulose fiber and cement. No endangered species or toxic materials are used in its manufacture, and it is designed to last at least 50 years if painted and properly maintained.

Most rooms in our homes are heated with the BioSmart® Infrared In-Wall Heating System, which is almost 100 percent efficient in converting clean electrical energy into clean radiant infrared heat. And each room has its own thermostat, so you don’t waste heat on a room you aren’t using.

builtgreenAll our homes achieve at least two-star Built Green® certification (a statewide program to encourage sustainable homebuilding and energy-efficient homes).

And finally, there’s something we might call community sustainability. This happens when a community is stable, manageable, and populated by people who care about it and are planning to stick around to take care of it. Langley is such a place, and we’re happy to be creating the kind of neighborhood that sustains its spirit.

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