One of the 2017 new home trends includes the buzzword “greener.” But what does that actually mean? Going green in the new home industry means promoting sustainable building practices that are usually set by the U.S. Green Building Council. When it comes to actual green practices, it’s up to the builder to decide what exactly that looks like, whether that means using recycled materials or choosing to place solar panels on the roof.

While this sounds great, it poses a looming question. Does “going green” actually make a difference? The answer is yes. Newland Communities studied two of its projects in North Carolina to measure the results of five sustainability principles that are practiced in construction. Looking at Briar Chapel and Wendell Falls, components that regulate air and water quality, energy efficiency, and walkable spaces were measured in order to prove that going green saves a lot.

Measuring against metrics set by the National Green Building Standard and Southern Energy Management’s EcoSelect building program, Newland executives found that the two respective communities have saved their residents more than $1 million in combined energy bills. With strict green standards set in place, more than 13.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide has been outweighed as a result of homes that are 25 percent more energy efficient.

Newland Communities marketing director Shannon McSwiney said that it’s amazing to see just how much of an impact that sustainable designs in new home construction can yield in terms of differences produced. Those who live in either Briar Chapel or Wendell Falls find themselves saving close to $500 a year on energy bills in comparison to other new homes built in Raleigh.

Buyers in 2017 are looking to be a part of the solution instead of the problem, which is why green building practices have proven to be a major selling point as of lately. In order to establish a more promising future, potential buyers are usually thrilled once they find out that energy-efficient homes are putting money back in their pockets. Since 2010, Briar Chapel residents have saved close to $911.000 in energy bills alone.

Both Briar Chapel and Wendell Falls practice green building, but focus on three things in particular which include:

Reducing initial waste:

Beginning in the initial stages of construction, Newland aims to use less energy with a home’s mere existence. From insulation and framing to air flow and materials used, everything is designed to work together to reduce energy consumption as a whole. Green-certified NGBS and ecoSelect homes also require less heating and cooling in general.

Saussy Burbank at Briar ChapelImproved energy sources:

The homeowner’s association at both Briar Chapel and Wendell Falls have provisions that allow for solar panels. This clean, renewable energy source ends up being more efficient and supports a healthier lifestyle in the long run. At Wendell Falls, homeowners can even roll solar panels into their mortgages.


Long-term behavior changes:

Newland Communities is big on designing communities that have plenty of walkable space, along with open areas throughout the neighborhoods. This is done to create residential interaction between one another. Aside from encouraging a healthy lifestyle, this also is done in hopes of reducing fuel emissions. Both Wendell Falls and Briar Chapel provide trails and parks within a five-minute walk of any front door.

Wendell Falls - Newland Communities outdoors

If you’re looking for a green home in the Triangle, consider either Wendell Falls or Briar Chapel. Both are fostering communities that hope for a better tomorrow and will save you money as well.

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