New Urbanism Designer Joining EEBA Summit Panel

Sept. 13, 2017 | by Gary Wollenhaupt

One of the goals of the new Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) High Performance Home Summit is to share real-world experiences among building professionals and manufacturers.

Registration for the Oct. 10-12 event in Atlanta is open through Sept. 29. The Summit is expected to attract as many as 500 builders, designers, raters and other industry representatives from around the country.

The agenda is stocked with builders, architects, raters, developers and government and non-profit organizations focusing on building better homes in a competitive marketplace.

On the agenda for Tuesday, Oct. 10, is a panel discussion that will feature professionals from the greater Atlanta market, one of the hotbeds for sustainable development and home building.

One of the speakers on the panel will be Lew Oliver, an Atlanta-based urbanist, master planner, and designer, who has advanced New Urbanism for a decade. He and his company, New Town Solutions, have been involved in developing land use plans for a number of prominent developments including Pinewood Forrest, Fayetteville, Georgia; Hartness, Greenville, South Carolina; Serenbe; and Town of Vickery, both in Atlanta.

Lew Oliver

He will share experienced gained from dozens of projects that focus on creating walkable neighborhoods that respect the land and incorporate well-designed, high performing homes.

His neighborhood designs incorporate a European flair to create a lifestyle that makes it easier to interact with neighbors and reserves about half the land as natural landscape that can be used for passive and recreational parks.

"We try to discourage car use and really encourage people to get out on their feet, and you can do this when you do a very efficient land plan," Oliver said.

The neighborhoods minimize roads, with homes facing green space and allowing vehicle access through rear alleys. Developers can reduce investment in infrastructure, and the market responds by paying higher prices for homes that front the green space, up to 20 percent or more than market prices, Oliver noted.

"Our buyers crave intense urban and social experiences and they also crave natural experiences, and that's another reason people are attracted to this kind of Development," Oliver said.

The homes in the New Urban developments support a diverse lifestyle in beautiful homes, and embrace families of all sizes from singles to multi-generational groups living in one house or in a small complex of dwellings.

"You can mix up all kinds of housing types that in conventional suburbia will not mix, and suddenly a banker will live next to someone's widowed mom and it's a great neighborhood that's diverse compared to typical Atlanta neighborhoods, which are gated monocultures at the same income level," Oliver said.

Developers who build high performance homes still face some challenges in marketing that performance to consumers, partly due to breaking out upgrades in a way that draws attention to the cost.

"No one would ever go into a house and ask what's the line item on the hardwood floors," Oliver said. "We have to learn to market green homes a lot less painfully. And we also have to put a face on it that's delightful."

To learn more from green `building professionals, register for the EEBA High Performance Home Summit here.

Read more about how EEBA is taking the annual summit to a new level.

Read more about how a unique presentation will help participants learn about award-winning, high-performance building.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, ENERGY STAR, Engineering Firms, Government Buildings - Federal / State / Local, Great Commercial Buildings, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, Highrise Residential, Interior Design, Interiors, Landscaping Architecture - Design & Maintenance, Multifamily / Multiunit Residential, Passive House / Passivhaus, Renovation / Restoration / Remodeling, Sustainable Trends and Statistics

Companies: EEBA



Gary Wollenhaupt
Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky. wwwView Gary Wollenhaupt's profile on LinkedIn

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