|A desert garden (above) demonstrates water-wise strategies, and a solar trellis (below) provides shade and electricity. The trellis is an option for buyers of the 900 single-family detached homes, which range from the high $100,000s to the mid-$200,000s.|
Pardee builds homes at its Vista Verde community in Las Vegas to Energy Star requirements, and its LivingSmart program offers standards such as engineered and certified wood, formaldehyde-free insulation and carpet made from recycled soda bottles (10,000 bottles go into each home). Icons throughout model homes help buyers identify the health, energy and/or ecological benefits of various features, and a LivingSmart room lets shoppers learn about environmental features and benefits at their own pace.
In response to their aesthetic concerns about roof-mounted solar panels, Pardee offers Vista Verde buyers a solar trellis — a garden shade structure topped by a 24-panel solar energy system that can produce up to 305 kilowatt-hours of energy per month. It costs $12,000, so people aren’t buying it in droves, but it is selling.
One buyer bought every available option, adding about $35,000 to the home’s cost. Buyers can choose electronic air filters, tankless water heaters, low-VOC paints, higher-SEER air conditioners and many other features. “We really do find that people want these things, but they also want granite countertops,” says Mason, noting the trade-offs buyers sometimes make.
Water conservation is critical in Nevada, and Pardee makes buyers part of the solution with a demonstration desert garden that shows them how to create a beautiful, water-wise garden. The builder also is testing an advanced artificial turf in a model home’s back yard to see if it might be a viable option.
Community: Vista Verde
Location: Las Vegas
Developer: Pardee Homes
Homes: Approximately 900 single-family detached
Price range: High $100,000s to mid-$200,000s
For more information: www.hedgewoodhomes.com