Atlanta's EarthCraft House Extends into Community Developments

Posted by on Friday, December 5th, 2008 at 9:43am.

When the Atlanta EarthCraft House program was initially developed in 1999, the main focus was on single and multi-family dwellings.

However, in 2003, a cooperative effort between the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Urban Land Institute and Southface brought about a new pilot program which was aimed at developing broad, sustainable, community development guidelines.

EarthCraft Piedmont Communities Program

Many policy leaders, land developers, environmental groups and various stakeholders played an important role in the development of environmentally communities throughout Atlanta. Some of the development issues which were raised included site selection, land disturbance, water quality, storm water management, energy, water and transportation infrastructure, community design, open space, green space preservation, pedestrian design, transportation and other related issues.

The project, which is entitled the EarthCraft Piedmont Communities Program, was comprised initially of five communities in north and middle Georgia, all of which represented different challenges regarding their development needs. These communities participated in an effort to help test the criteria for applicability and relevance. Since that time, the program has expanded to many communities across the region.

EarthCraft Coastal Communities

The success of the original EarthCraft Piedmont Communities Program has shone light on the many development issues surrounding communities along the coast of Georgia. With this in mind, Southface held a second round of stakeholder’s meetings in 2005 in an effort to focus on the challenges of developing along coastal areas. Some of the issues which were discussed included the hydrology, climate and consumer preferences of buyers in coastal areas.

As a result, a new criterion was implemented that addressed the unique set of development issues surrounding coastal areas – the program is aptly called the EarthCraft Coastal Communities.

Both programs, including the original EarthCraft Piedmont Communities Program and the EarthCraft Coastal Communities program, are purely voluntary and market-driven, and are designed to reward responsible developers with a well-known and trusted certification for green development.

The Hallmarks of EarthCraft Communities

Many features differentiate EarthCraft communities from conventional developments, including an emphasis on walkability and bikability for a healthier lifestyle, the use of native landscaping, a focus on water conservation, and the preservation of greenspace and trees.

For more information on Atlanta Real Estate, contact Tina Fountain Realtors at 404-842-1555.

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