The current mantra in designing homes is “tear down those walls!” Open floorplans are must-haves because they accentuate the casual living environment that consumers crave.
Internet Site Scores Property's 'Smartness'
A new Web site, www.smartsites.org, assesses the "smartness" of a property. When a land seller registers a property on the site, the parcel is scored on adherence to 12 smart growth attributes:
1. Proximity to public transit (buses, commuter trains, etc.)
2. Proximity to an existing transportation corridor
3. Distance from probable product transportation nodes (airports, interstates)
4. Proximity to services (restaurants, banks, schools)
5. Accessibility to a certain population base within a 5-mile radius
6. Accessibility by pedes-trians via sidewalk or trail
7. Proximity to existing public parking
8. Whether it's within a state development zone
9. Whether it's within a local, regional, county or city development zone
10. Whether it's inside a municipal boundary
11. Whether it's inside a flood plain
12. Whether it's near threatened or polluted streams or lakes
Built by the Research Triangle Institute, a nonprofit R&D and public policy organization, the Web site is in a live trial and testing phase. Land sellers in the Southeast can list properties for free.
Eventually the site will list properties from across the nation.