Category Archives: Show Homes

The Orchards Group Goes Green To Save Some Green

eco comfort homeThe Orchards Group is going a little greener to help residents save on their energy bills. Though the builder already offers energy-efficient homes for active adults, the group has been receiving numerous requests from residents to help them save more money on energy bills.

“We worked with our suppliers to identify affordable energy-efficient products that will provide a good return on investment over the life of the home,” said Mitch Block, marketing director for The Orchards Group.

Thus the Eco-Comfort home was born! Ground has been broken on this home at its popular Forsyth County community The Orchards of Brannon Oak Farm.

Usually a $10,900 upgrade on the Winston, the smart buyer who purchases this demonstration home at Brannon Oak Farm will pay only $7,900.  Specific upgraded features are available individually or as a package.

The Eco-Comfort Home package includes:

  • A tankless hot water system with a re-circulating pump providing instant hot water.
  • the orchards group, winston model, eco-comfort homeA high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system.
  • A radiant barrier between the roof shingles and the attic which keeps the attic (and house) 20% cooler.
  • Increased insulation for greater hot and cold protection.
  • Water saving Dual flush commodes.

The home features the Winston plan. This floor plan features two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a room that can be a parlor or a third bedroom.  The model has a living and dining room open to the kitchen, a sunroom, a screened porch, a large master bedroom with walk-in closet and true walk-up attic storage. Eco-Comfort features, availability and pricing may vary in other floor plans.

For more information on the Eco-Comfort home, visit The Orchards Group‘s website.

Denver’s First LEED Platinum Single Family Home

Denver LEED houseUrban Green Development is proud to announce the groundbreaking of Denver’s first LEED Platinum single family home to be built in the NW Denver’s Highland neighborhood. “The Green Cube Showhome” has received a LEED Platinum level classification from the US Green Building Council, the highest level of green sustainable building. The project is looking for qualified Green Industry partners to showcase their products.

About the Project:
Project Location: 3310 Shoshone St in NW Denver

Owner / GC: Urban Green Development

Project Goal: A fundraising project to showcase and network sustainable building contractors and green suppliers.

Background: Being built in one of Denver’s “hot spot” building neighborhoods, NW Denver’s historic Highland area, “The Green Cube” will be the city’s first LEED Platinum single family home, the highest sustainable/built green rating possible. When complete the home is expected use just 40% of the energy of a code built home.
The home is scheduled to open in late fall off 2011 as a Green Built Show Home in conjunction with U.S. Built Green Council, and will be featured on the DIY Network throughout the process. The home will bring together area contractors, suppliers using sustainable and reusable products as well as serve as a fundraising project to support an annual scholarship fund enabling North High students to pursue careers in the Green Building Industry. When complete the Show Home will host tours, open houses, seminars and special events all raising money for North High career scholarships.

The Show Home will host 3,000-5,000 trade professionals and consumers during the month of July 2011 The project offers the opportunity to partner and network with the nearly 100 green trades, suppliers and services required to build the home from start to finish. Please contact Brett Robben at 303-433-6212 or email

Zero Net Energy Home — A Look into Future Homes?

The future could be here, with the first ever zero net energy home which opened last Tuesday, Oct. 26 in Penn., in the Ohio Township area, for builders and real estate professionals to tour.

The builder, S & A Homes based out of Penn. and West Va., along with IBACOS, the Department of Energy, and other home builders were ecstatic to introduce what could become standard for homes as technology progresses.

This zero net energy home will be a continuous research project for S & A Homes and especially IBACOS, of Pittsburgh,  Penn., a think-tank leading builders in quality and energy efficiency. The project goal is to see how the average family can conserve energy living in a home that is made for energy efficiency entirely.

The only home of its kind so far, pricing and design options haven’t been discussed at length yet, because the home’s still being carefully analyzed for effectiveness, and judged on how its design will fit into the home market in general.

Innovative new technologies and designs have been worked into every aspect of the zero net energy home, with “green” features like:

  • A looping horizontal heat pump system, a few feet beneath the home, using geothermal energy (the home is additionally installed with a traditional well system also, to compare the efficiency of each)
  • R-40 insulation, installed within 2×8 exterior walls with staggered 2×4 construction, to keep more heat inside in the cold months, and outside in the hot months
  • All LED and CFL lighting, on image sensors to minimize electricity usage

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony this month, a lucky family of four will move into the model home, for analysis of their energy usage and home habits. Over the next two years, IBACOS will be able to see how things are used, how energy efficient the home can be, and what works best or needs to be improved with the design of the home.

This way when zero net energy homes become more common, they can determine cost compared to value of these homes, to make them as affordable and  beneficial as possible. To see more information about the first zero net energy home, visit the S & A Homes website.

FloorPlanOnline Offers Unique “Virtual Tour” Tools

The search for the perfect home can be daunting. Potential homebuyers troll the MLS listings looking at properties in the perfect location. They browse the blurry and often poorly shot photos, squinting and tilting their heads at the screen to judge the true size of the living room. Then, after they note the addresses of what seem like fantastic homes, they’ll call up their real estate agent to go for an in-person visit.

And they’ll probably be disappointed.

Crude photos and simple floorplan sketches can waste the time of the busy homebuyer. That’s where FloorPlanOnline comes in. The company’s service provides not only the layout of the home, but also beautiful, crisp, detailed photos that are easily accessed from the floorplan. Not only is the “virtual tour” a great tool for consumers, agents can utilize search engine optimization and an analytical program to optimize search placement and measure results.

FPO Version 2.0 was recently announced, which adds greater customization abilities and media options. A WalkThru(TM) video component has been added as well as a Room Planner where users can drag and drop furniture.

A 2009 study from the California Association of Realtors showed that 20 or more photos online reduced the time a home is on the market by 50 percent. In a competitive real estate market, FloorPlanOnline is a great tool to leverage.

Meet Green Builder Magazine at the International Builder Show

In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, many builders and home buyers have become interested in green homes.  Green Builder Magazine caters directly to this audience and will have editors ready to meet-and-greet at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

All three of the publication’s editors will spend time in their booth (C4861) on the following schedule:

  • Ron Jones, President and Editorial Director – Jan. 19 10-11 a.m. and Jan. 20 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Matt Power, Senior Editor – Jan. 19 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Cati O’Keefe, Editor-in-Chief – Jan. 20 10-11 a.m.

While visiting the booth, you can learn about Green Builder Magazine’s retrofit project: ReVISION Vegas.  The 1960’s-era home is being outfitted with enough energy-saving bells and whistles to bring its net energy consumption to zero.

ReVISION Vegas, located near the Las Vegas Convention Center, will be open for tours next week.  Tours are available Jan. 19 and Jan. 21 from 3-5 p.m.  Contact Sara Gutterman at for directions and transportation information.

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is an increasingly popular mantra for consumers.  Builders and re-modelers interested in green construction should be sure to visit Green Builder Magazine’s booth as well as tour ReVISION Vegas.

Final Weekend For FREE Tours

Greenhaven is open foeco master suite at Greenhavenr FREE tours until August 9th. Don’t miss this opportunity to tour Cobb County’s greenest green house. This custom-built green home was built by Pace Homebuilders and it is open for tours Thursdays – Sundays.

Lots of people have visited the home to find ways to live greener lives. Last weekend was packed. Be sure to come out this weekend and meet the Designers and hear about their Eco-Friendly home design services. Be sure to look for Richard Feis, the Builder while you are on-site and ask about Sustainable Home Design and Building.

Show Home Hours:

Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1:30 – 5 p.m.