As part of the Fort Eustis Earth Day festivities from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., on April 24th, Michael Luzier, president and CEO of Home Innovation Research Labs, will present Balfour Beatty Communities with 4-Star NGBS Green Certification, the highest certification level available, for its recently-completed Marseilles Village community. The community, located on a previously developed but unused site that held old housing stock and barracks on the base, also has the distinction of having all the single- and multifamily homes built on the premises NGBS Green Certified – this is the first military housing base to accomplish these certifications.
The community’s Project Director, Curt Savoy, says Balfour Beatty is extremely proud of the accomplishment, but admits pursuit of certification for the land development itself was somewhat of a happy side effect of how they went about developing the site. “Our team initially looked to the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) only for certification of the homes we were building on base,” said Savoy. “But once NGBS Green Verifier Steve Armstrong was retained and came to the site for his initial visit, he told us about the land development option and showed that we were already well on our way to achieving a 4-star certification. At that point, it was a no-brainer to pursue certification for both the homes and the development. After all, it fit well with our company’s corporate sustainability initiatives and helped create a better neighborhood for the soldiers and their families living on the base.”
With the help of sister company Balfour Beatty Construction, Savoy and his team able to reuse existing civil infrastructure materials and implement other specific green land management practices. The primary benefit to the residents of incorporating these NGBS Green land development practices is the enhanced neighborhood design. The team was able to keep a majority of the mature trees and vegetation because they used a gray field infill site and utilized the existing roadways and building locations. They also took advantage of existing community support services and created a pedestrian-supportive neighborhood. Also, nearly three acres of open green space was designated for community use with interconnected walk paths and ample area for outdoor activities.
“What Balfour Beatty has done on this base in particular, as well as on other military installations where they’ve had homes NGBS Green Certified, resulted in a great neighborhood for military families,” said Luzier. “This is exactly what the Consensus Committee that developed the NGBS envisioned – a flexible, yet rigorous green certification program that could be applicable to every kind of residential project in every region of the country.”
As the Fort Eustis community celebrates Earth Day with family fun and festivities at the Balfour Beatty Community Center, it seems the perfect time to also celebrate residential builders and developers like Balfour Beatty Communities who, through third-party, independent NGBS Green Certification, are providing homeowners and renters with a smarter investment, and healthier home, and a happier way of living. Consumers looking for their own NGBS Green Certified home should visit www.NGBS.com for more information.