Utah’s Terra Sol community brings renewable energy to affordable living

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Terra Sol near downtown Salt Lake City includes 40 single-family detached units and 20 twin homes, all equipped with renewable energy technologies typically found in high-end custom homes.

March 18, 2012
Utah’s Terra Sol community brings renewable energy to affordable living

Utah’s Terra Sol community brings renewable energy to affordable living

Terra Sol, an urban infill development near downtown Salt Lake City, opened recently as one of the state’s greenest residential communities. Built by Garbett Homes and designed by KTGY Group Inc. Architecture and Planning, the de­velopment includes 60 units (40 single­ family detached and 20 twin homes, priced from $194,000 to $258,900), all equipped with renewable energy technologies typically found in high­end custom homes, including photovoltaic panels, solar hot water systems, and geothermal technologies.

“Garbett has done what no other builder has done; they have completed the loop from inside to the outside,” said KTGY’s John Tully, referring to the integration of renewable systems into an affordable housing package.

To help educate potential buyers on the green homes at Terra Sol, Garbett Homes built a demonstration model home that literally peels back the walls, floors, and ceilings to showcase the energy­saving features. Standard energy­efficient, green features include spray foam and blown-­in insulation, low­-e windows, CFL lighting, solar panels, solar hot waters, geothermal heating and cooling, and bio-­based engineered wood. All homes are Energy Star 3.0 certified and score below HERS 40.

“Many young buyers want to go green, but they just can’t afford it,” noted Rene Oehlerking, Garbett Homes’ marketing director. “So we made green afford­able. With solar and geothermal power, you’re not only being environmentally conscious, you’re also saving money. Home buyers can expect to pay electric­ity bills as low as $5 per month and nat­ural gas bills as low as $7 per month.”

To date, Garbett Homes has sold 31 of the 40 single­family units and seven of the 20 twin homes.

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