WHERE is the perfect place to construct the green-built home of your dreams? Possibly on a remarkable building site in one of Asheville, North Carolina's eco-communities. "GREEN" is the word here in Western North Carolina's mountains.
More and more here in Asheville we are noticing a trend toward sustainable environments, and more and more. Asheville is becoming the "hub' of green and sustainable development.
(Photo to the right of the meadows at Drovers Road Preserve courtesy of David Tuch, VP Equinox Environmental.)
So I have been touring various eco-communities in the Asheville, NC area to find out what this is all about. We started with Hickory Nut Forest. (Worth your visit!) Today we are traveling with Eco Certified® Real Estate Consultant, Bill Westel to check out Drovers Road Preserve, a favorite of the Garden Club, and another conservation neighborhood just outside of Asheville in Fairview, NC.. As it turns out, this eco-community is just down the road from Hickory Nut Forest . . .only about 20 minutes from the many amenities in downtown Asheville.
I'm happy to go into detail about the Drovers Road Community. Talk with me.
Bill likes to say how Equinox Environmental Consultation and Design had a hand in this eco-community. He will tell ya' that "The people at Equinox really are a dedicated group of professionals that are capable of handling a wide variety of developments from small residential conservation easement subdivisions in urban areas to 1000+ acre multi-family developments. They have a diverse team of skilled people ... an Environmental Land Planner ...a Landscape and Environmental designer... with a Field Biologist, a Botanist, an Environmental Scientist, and a Land Planner/Landscape designer."
" Now this is what I call a Green Team . . ." Bill said recently in a glowing post on his BLOG.. I tend to agree. Many environmentally-sensitive projects I've come to know over the years enjoy the Equinox Environmental Consultation and Design stamp of approval. The one we are visiting today, Drovers Road Preserve, may be my favorite. That's because I've spent many happy hours here.
Just inside the entrance to this eco-community you can discover a bit of authentic Appalachian history. You can actually see the roadbed that once connected drovers to and from the markets of Asheville's city center. The trail is marked. The mood is set.
This 186 acre conservation residential development has only 23 lots. They range in size from 1.5 to 10 acres. Of the almost 190 acres, 110 have been placed into conservation easement. As we saw at Hickory Nut Forest, the easement permanently protects Drovers Road's natural resources and the majority of the development's forested land from any future development.
(Site map to the left at Drovers Road Preserve courtesy of David Tuch, VP Equinox Environmental.)
As stated on the property's website, "The philosophy of Drovers Road Preserve is to develop home sites in environmental and aesthetic harmony with the surrounding landscape." In order to carry out the philosophy, "a carefully conceived set of design guidelines governs all construction, ensuring that the character of the land is maintained and that man-made living spaces are an integral part of the nature preserve." No wonder Drovers Road Preserve has won several awards for sustainable and ecologically sensitive design.
As we tour Drovers Road Preserve please note the
•1. Careful attention that has been given to the soil. This ensures that it can adequately support septic systems, and slope, to further limit the environmental impact of development.
•2. Obvious evaluation of slope allowed the developers to place the roads to limit impact and removal of trees
•3. Design elements like innovative stormwater management techniques also speak to the eco-friendly approach of the development.
•4. The amazing constructed wetland used to treat stormwater runoff by allowing the settling of sediment and pollutants contained in the runoff.
•5. The bio-retention ponds (or rain gardens) that use a porous soil mix containing sand to allow excess water to trickle into the depression and become absorbed.
In a review of this eco-community in the New Life Journal , a print publication with a circulation of about 90,000,reflecting the interest in eco-communities in the Greater Asheville and Atlanta areas I stated :
"It appears that great care was taken to preserve the integrity of the land-road layout and design are such that visitors and residents can still enjoy a connection with nature."
Whether in an urban environment, or in the rolling regions beyond Asheville's city limits, buyers and investors and sellers of real property are taking note of the sustainable and ecologically sensitive design concept and the development of eco-communities is on the rise around these mountains.
....Looking to the Future....
Asheville, NC eco-community scene is amazing- Asheville, N.C. and the City's healthy impetus for sustainable development, diverse economic structure based on tourism, services, and eco-innovative attitudes means a positive outlook even in difficult times. -Overall education levels, wages and per capita income levels are on the "plus" side here in Asheville. Standards of living are, too.
....Greater Asheville, North Carolina's GREEN real estate market enjoys clients who are hungry for sustainable neighborhoods, energy-efficient design and green-built homes.
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