There has been a spate of greener construction coming on line in San Francisco. I toured a few yesterday on the SFAR’s Tuesday Tour, and one of the standouts, represented by Barbagelata Real Estate, is the Arden Homes Development located in West Portal. It is an interesting block of 7 new homes constructed in the former urban grove of the Arden Woods Retirement / Spiritual Healing Center off Wawona Street. I am still torn over the loss of the grove – there are so few urban forests, and this really was a majestic stand of beautiful old trees. But the flip side is 7 homes built within the city limits, close to public transportation, walking distance to shops, restaurants and other amenities, and constructed with some green features. In the end I suppose it was the right decision to build here, but I will miss the grove.
The homes themselves are nice. They have a number of Sustainable Features that are an honest if not 100% stab at green building (Of the 3 toilets I saw, only one was dual flush…why not all three I wonder?), on demand hot water (not sustainable imho), Trex Decking (decent), solar photovoltaic panels (good), energy star appliances & bathroom fans, (applause), etc, etc.
I am happy to see developers give a nod to green building, though much props also must go to Mayor Newsom whose advocacy of green building principles mandated this kind of thinking in new construction. Only mandated action through legislation will force people to build this way. And it really must be mandated in the building code otherwise we will continue to ignore real environmental costs associated with buildings until the balance becomes so great, our children can’t pay the interest and the planet gets foreclosed on.
More green building reviews to come soon.