The U.S. Green Building Council launched its LEED for Homes certification program in January, and since that time, obtaining LEED certification has been de rigeur among developers of the hottest new neighborhoods. According to LEED records, dozens of local builders are seeking certification for new houses, including those by Urban Edge, Alan Hoffman Company, Elite Custom Homes, and GreenCraft Builders. Sales at The Buzz, (completed downtown green condos), have been brisk, says co-developer Rad Roumaya, with 90 percent of these units sold. Urban Reserve’s Diane Cheatham has announced plans for a new 10-unit LEED condo complex behind Whole Foods in the Oak Lawn area. Slated to open in early 2009, these units range from 800 to 1,250 square feet, with minimal energy usage and low CO2 output.
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to co-author “Regreen,” an educational guide with detailed room-by-room strategies for eco-styled residential interiors. Written in response to the booming remodeling market, “Regreen” is useful for homes in any stage of design. In fact, this collaborative effort may be just what we’ve needed to tip the scales toward widespread acceptance of green design. The guide will be presented at “Interiors ’08,” the ASID annual conference in New Orleans (March 13-16). Along with the comprehensive guide, workshops, and classes will be offered. In Dallas, local USGBC and ASID chapters plan to jointly spearhead the new initiative. “This is where our industry is going,” says Helen Erdman, 2008 Chair of the Dallas Design Community (ASID). “This is where our clients are going. It’s an incredible educational opportunity that will generate tremendous additional demand.”
Dallas is the first city in the nation to launch a web site—www.greendallas.net—entirely focused on green topics. The site provides the latest on local air quality, water, recycling, building code, and conservation tips. The city has also announced the Green Renovation Program, a plan to reduce urban heat impact by replacing regular roofs with “cool” materials such as vegetation. As a part of the experimental program, The Dallas Homeless Assistance Center roof will be planted with a number of hardy plants and trees, including verbena, Texas lantana, purple winter creep, artemsia, shore junipers, hamlen fountain grass, and greg dahlia. The project is expected to be complete in April. Studies exploring the benefits of additional reflective roofing materials for future building use are also underway. In March, the Dallas City Council will hear input from a task force made up of city staff and local design and building professionals on potential green residential building goals and requirements. This input will drive development of a resolution on future financial incentives and environmental code for the city.
Amy Monier, along with her brother, is developing the 500-acre, conservation conscious Montgomery Farm in Allen that has been owned by her family for decades. Her efforts include partnering with MESA Architects to prepare “The Pattern Book,” a plan to readdress city code for street sizes, water runoff, landscaping, curbs, and tree placement. If Allen approves this book of environmentally protective measures, Montgomery Farms may have the first comprehensive community guide in the country.
Benjamin Moore has introduced a low VOC paint that is self-priming, and most shades offer coverage in one coat. Aura comes in 144 new colors, or it can be added to existing Benjawmin Moore colors. Priced at $54 per gallon, it’s now available at Texas Paint and Wallpaper Co. and Walnut Hill Paint Company. Check www.myaurapaint.com for additional details.
Anna Sova’s organic bed linen collection is all about color. We love Constantinople—a raspberry pattern—in an Italian woven jacquard finished with eco-safe cotton bleaching and dyeing. Prices on duvets range from $475 to $575, and matching shams are $100.