Nov 092010
 

Austin’s first, solar eco responsible neighborhood, the Las Casas Verdes Development, will feature the latest in solar, wind and water energy technologies, and will be the first of its kind in Texas.

Located on approximately three acres in Southwest Austin, near the corner of Longview Road and Cameron Loop off Brodie Lane, the Las Casas Verdes Development will enjoy a convenient, central location, with nearby shopping centers and mass transit routes located less than one mile away. The current demographic of the area includes middle-income, single-family homes with nearby parks and hiking and biking trails. This area also has a nice view of the nearby greenbelt.

Twenty, single-family, architecturally designed homes will be included in the Las Casas Verdes Development, and all of the homes will meet the strict standards of the Austin Green Building Program, Energy Star and LEEDS certifications.

Each home will be custom designed in a Texas farm cottage style and will encompass 1,800 square feet of living space. Although each home will have an overall design concept and architectural detailing, styling and character will differentiate the homes from one another.

The Las Casas Verdes Development developers have included just twenty homes in an effort to concentrate on the quality of the homes. The homes will focus on the comfort and features of today’s lifestyles, yet will all boast energy and money-saving benefits.

For example, some of the comfort features of each home will include a media room, an office alcove and large, exterior decks, while some of the environmentally sensitive features of each home will include a 3KW Solar Photovoltaic System for electrical generation and Solar Thermal Panels for hot water.

Just some of the other energy-saving features of the Las Casas Verdes Development include:

o A complete solar power system with an inverter and a reversing meter for selling excess power back to the public grid
o Optional batteries for on-site energy storage
o Passive solar design systems to best manage sunlight
o Design features, such as overhangs, porches and shade tree, will reduce heat load by providing shade.
o Heat chimneys, operable awning windows and landscape features, combined with natural breezes, will allow for adequate air circulation throughout the home with little or no mechanical assistance.
o Rainwater collection systems will gather water for use in landscaping and toilets.
o Structural insulated panels, which are prefabricated wall and roof panels, will frame the exteriors of the homes for superior insulation, faster construction times and less construction waste.
o Heating and cooling systems with sealed air ducts per Energy Star specifications
o A properly sized 14+ SEER rating
o Heat recirculation HVAC ducts which will reuse pre-heated air during the winter months.
o An in-duct dehumidification system
o Low VOC paints, reflected metal roofs and recycled building materials
o Recirculation hot water systems will provide immediate hot water.
o Multi-speed fans motors and duct controllers will heat and cool only the occupied portions of the home at any given time.

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Author: Richard R Soto
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Richard R Soto

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