Suburbia: It has been a panacea and an expletive. Touted for affordability and maligned for automobile dependence, suburbia is a fact of life in the U.S.
Rancho Mission Viejo: Terramor, Ladera Ranch, Calif.
|Many of the 1,260 detached single-family homes, courtyard homes, townhomes, condo-miniums and live/work units front communal open space that connects to a 10-mile trail encircling Ladera Ranch. Home prices range from the high $200,000s to $1 million-plus.|
The roster of Terramor builders (see below) reads like a who’s who of production home builders, some experienced in green building and others that had not done anything like it. In what Paul Johnson, Rancho Mission Viejo’s senior vice president of community development, calls "one of the brightest shades of green in a production environment," builders adhere to the 360º Living program. Divided into the categories of site/landscape planning, water conservation, energy, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and "innovations" (builders must come up with two features not listed on the specs), this green development program includes:
- drought-tolerant plants grown at local nurseries.
- homes that meet California Energy Star requirements and reduce annual energy costs by 20% compared with baseline.
- proper shading of west-facing homes.
- rapidly renewable or recycled-content materials and/or certified wood offered as options.
- limits on paints, coatings, carpet systems and other materials that might contain volatile organic compounds.
Although Terramor’s models have not opened, the greening of Ladera Ranch has gained momentum. The next and final village, high-end Covenant Hills, also will adhere to green requirements. Steve Kellenberg, an EDAW Inc. principal who served with William Hezmalhalch Architects and Land Concern as Ladera’s planning consultants, cites several reasons for the shift to green. Rancho Mission Viejo and its consultants not only felt it was the right thing to do and a way to clarify its corporate identity, but they also became more aware of better building practices, witnessed how green building can help gain approvals and envisioned a chance to sell homes faster and at a premium.
Location: Ladera Ranch, Calif.
Developer: Rancho Mission Viejo
Builders: Centex Homes, D.R. Horton, K. Hovnanian, MBK Homes, Pardee Homes, Pulte Homes, Richmond American Homes, Shea Homes, Standard Pacific Homes, William Lyon Homes
Homes: 1,260 detached single-family, courtyard homes, townhomes, condominiums and live/work units
Price range: High $200,000s to $1 million-plus
For more information: www.laderaranch.com