Local developers emphasize importance of “green” construction
Friday, May 13, 2011
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By conducting a survey regularly with students to better accommodate their housing priorities, he found out that what most students want a building that is green and fashionable.
Bundoran Farm is a 2,300-acre conservation community in Albemarle where 90 percent of its land remains an undeveloped, protected landscape. Joe Barnes, Director of Architecture and Design of Celebration Associates, said Bundoran represented a “market-driven approach to rural land preservation.”
“Unfortunately we are developing a lot of our rural areas in what would be considered to be an unsustainable manner,” Barnes said. “We are losing productive farmland, we are destroying the visual character of our rural landscapes, and then all the environmental aspects that go with that-- with watersheds and in addition the viewsheds.”
Barnes said his team asked, “Is there a solution out there that allows farmers to maximize the value of their land assets, protect the productive agricultural area, preserve the beauty of the character of the land, encourage the ongoing stewardship of the land?”
“Our primary goal was to preserve rural character, not only the character of land, but also the use of the land,” said Barnes. At Bundoran, the 108 home sites are situated in the “seams” between the farm fields and forests and have shared easements that allow for continued operation of the farm, protection of greenways and other preservation tracts.
Chris Schooley, the former development director at Stonehaus, discussed the design philosophy behind the Belvedere neighborhood located off Rio Road in Albemarle’s urban area. Belvedere was
approved in October 2004.
Schooley said the development team sought at Belvedere to “activate the street and create a social organism.” In doing so, Schooley listed three core fundamental values of Belvedere: a healthy living component, sustainability, and a sense of neighborhood.
With the first phase of Belvedere 70% complete, Schooley said the neighborhood has “started to reach a density that makes the vision start to be something tangible.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Joseph Barnes is a member of the Charlottesville Tomorrow Board of Directors.
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