Trends in Sustainable Design for any Market

No matter which market you are building in, properly implementing sustainable design can transform your product line

By PETER ROTELLE

I love the concept of building green, and I believe it is our future — literally. However, with that being said, it is a moving target that is continuously being revised and developed. There are so many different views and levels attached to “building green.”

For Rotelle Development Company and Studio(e), we want to be conscientious of our company’s footprint with regards to building and land development. Since the industry is so dynamic, we need to stay alert to changes and be nimble in implementing them. The more sophisticated we get about our surroundings and the impacts we make, the better able we are to tread more lightly. Not only is this view responsible, but also, it is what our customers are inquiring about.

 

Educating the Homebuyer on Sustainability

It is a good idea for builders to always be searching for new products and materials to better their specifications and allow their homes to be more sustainable. For our company, in our meetings with clients, this allows us to direct them toward – and educate them on – ways to make their homes more environmentally responsible.

The more mainstream efficiencies in construction, sourcing materials, and the processes used to get the job done allow the project team to make these sustainable design strategies more readily available to our clients.

Over the past several years, we have seen a much more educated consumer with regards to sustainability. This buyer is now more willing to spend extra money if there is a lessened environmental impact.

 

Changing Trends in Land Development

With land regulations from the local, state, and federal levels increasing drastically on a yearly basis, these restrictions reduce the supply chain and increase the finished lot cost. This creates a challenge to meet the current demand in the affordable housing space. You need to use creativity to help shape land deals in order to fill this void.

For example, we partnered with a conservation group to preserve a portion of the property. Their contribution, which allowed the land to be much more affordable, coupled with our ability to design the community under a cluster ordinance, significantly reduced the infrastructure cost. This ended with the creation of a development that was a homerun for everyone involved: neighbors, conservationists, the township, homebuyers, and the developers.

 

Indoor-Outdoor Design for Summer

Customers want to know they can live sustainably all year long. We ensure this by offering unique designs of smaller and very well-appointed floorplans – cozier, more intimate spaces that reduce the overall footprint, and ultimately, have less impact on the environment. We are also designing more outdoor living spaces that people are using as three-season rooms.

The environmental benefits we see include less saltwater runoff, less erosion, and an outdoor living space that can help reduce the cost of heating and electricity within a home. These outdoor living spaces also promote family and lifestyle.

In addition, it is a good idea to build more multigenerational homes. Although the impact of one home is increased slightly, it has less environmental impact than building two homes separately. Even though the efficiencies of a single home include a minimal increase in expense, there is a greater return to the environment, as well as to the lifestyle choice of families wanting to be close together.

 

Sustainability in Action

This year, Rotelle is celebrating our 30th year as a Pennsylvania homebuilder and land developer. We have a diversified product line, from active adult condos to a million, or more, custom homes. However, in recent years, our primary niche is boutique communities – communities of 10-20 houses – and spot lot custom homes.

We have a 6000-square-foot studio staffed with home and land experts that specialize in interior design, architecture, landscape, permitting, and more – all under one roof. We have an amazingly inspiring space to facilitate every aspect of building a home, from land sourcing all the way through construction, and we leave our clients with a 10-year warranty that protects their largest asset.

We love what we do and have an amazing staff that has allowed us to win countless awards and have an outstanding reputation in our marketplace of sustainable developments.

Peter Rotelle is the President and Owner of Rotell(e) Development Company and Studio(e). For more information, please visit rotelle.com.