02 September 2012

This New House

I'm not really much for plugging housing developments. The truth is that each time I see a new one, I get a little sad. I hate seeing natural spaces bulldozed and built and paved over.

With that perspective in mind, I will share some information my sister sent me. It concerns a community called the Garden Atriums. You can visit the community's Web site by clicking here.

From what I can tell, Garden Atriums is a gated community (not my favorite kind). However, it is based on some interesting principles that I think could be good, especially if applied in other areas.

First, Garden Atriums has a community garden, which brings food production close to home and gives the community a central space that will hopefully make for stronger connections between residents. Also, its homes feature less lawn space, decreasing the need for water, fertilizer, and mowing.

Another interesting idea is the use of atriums with plants at the center of the houses. This provides some innovative ways of creating climate control and challenges the barriers that traditionally separate human dwellings from nature. Additionally, the houses generate the power they need with solar energy.

I like that Garden Atriums seems to take sustainability seriously, but I would like to see someone try to incorporate the ideas from this community in one that already exists. If renovation and rejuvenation projects borrow from Garden Atrium's inspiration, the need for brand new developments will hopefully decrease.

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