Category Archives: Green Building

Green building news and resources

Smart Building Techniques: Third-Party Verification

February 28, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

EYA’s long-standing commitment to environmentally friendly home design is now enhanced by third-party verification of important installations in all homes. In addition to LEED for Homes certification, the following systems are now inspected by a third-party verifier:

  • Building envelope wrap and flashing details
  • Quality of insulation installation
  • Blower door test
  • Duct leakage test
  • Exhaust fan performance
  • Kitchen exhaust performance
  • Pest control techniques
  • Mechanical ventilation performance

Green building techniques, such as third-party verification, ensure that even the best laid plans are properly implemented in new home construction. It’s one of the many ways we’re building a smarter, greener home. Learn more about EYA’s “smart city living” efforts here.

Resolutions for a Walkable Lifestyle

January 6, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

As we welcome a new year, many of us will make resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle. More and more research indicates that living in a walkable neighborhood is good for you. From better health to reduced crime rates to increased social interactions, walkable urban living has many far reaching benefits. The studies show:

  • There is a significant connection between walkability and health benefits
  • Walkability encourages more civic engagement in our communities
  • Walkable urban environments spur social interaction and creativity
  • Walkability is a key to influencing housing prices

EYA is passionate about creating distinctly special neighborhoods that positively impact individual lives and communities in a socially responsible way. Visit our website to learn more about our walkable neighborhoods and resolve to start living your walkable lifestyle today!

Cool Roofs, Cool Effects

July 15, 2014 | by | 0 Comments
EYA's new townhomes at Old Town Commons have environmentally friendly, white painted, cool roofs. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.EYA's new townhomes at Old Town Commons have environmentally friendly, white painted, cool roofs. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

According to a recent article posted on Grist, “cool roofs save money by keeping indoor temperatures more comfortable in warm weather and reducing the need for air conditioning.” In this case, a “cool roof” is flat rooftop that has a brightly colored roofing membrane, most commonly, white, in order to reflect heat from the sun. Roofs that are darker colors, like dark gray or black, absorb more of the sun’s heat, making the building warmer inside. Not only do cool roofs save money, but also help the environment. The article explains that “reducing energy absorption at Earth’s surface decreases the amount of heat these [greenhouse] gases can trap in the atmosphere.” On a larger scale, Art Rosenfeld, the man behind the cool roof vision, compares a successful worldwide cool roof campaign to “’taking half of the world’s cars off the road for 20 years.’”

EYA has long known the benefits of cool roofs and we have been installing white roofing membranes on our flat roofs since 2009. We are very proud of our commitment to environmental sustainability and creating energy efficient homes. Nearly every home we build is LEED certified and no other homebuilder in the Washington area has earned as many LEED certifications. EYA homeowners save on utility bills, have shorter commutes and walk more. Learn more about how EYA homes are measurably different and visit one of our actively selling communities today!

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

April 22, 2014 | by | 0 Comments
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Earth Day celebrations are taking place around the world and there are many ways you can make a difference in your community and your home. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Pledge to reduce and recycle. Purchase food products that use less plastic packaging and bring recyclable shopping bags to the grocery store. Shopping at a local Farmer’s Market can also reduce the amount of plastic packaging you consume. If you don’t already recycle at home, pledge to start.
  2. Plant a tree. Volunteer with a local tree planting organization or simply plant a tree in your own yard.
  3. Use public transit, carpooling or bicycle. Reduce your carbon footprint by using alternative transport methods such as public transit, carpooling, bicycling or walking.
  4. Install energy saving devices in your home. Change out those old incandescent bulbs for more energy-efficient bulbs, add a programmable thermostat (and be sure to change your air filters) and get low flow fixtures and appliances.
  5. Attend an Earth Day event. This weekend, there are lots of great Earth Day events taking place in the area that will feature plant sales, live music, family-friendly activities and more!

EYA has long demonstrated a commitment to environmentally sound business practices and building sustainable neighborhoods. Nearly every home we build is LEED certified and no other homebuilder in the Washington area has earned as many LEED certifications. We also build in urban areas where homeowners are within walking distance of transit, shopping, dining and other conveniences. Learn more about our actively selling communities and discover a smarter way to live today!

Tips for Spring Cleaning in Your EYA Home

April 7, 2014 | by | 0 Comments
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Spring is (finally) in bloom around Washington and we know you’re eager to open up your windows for a breath of fresh air. If spring cleaning is on your agenda, here are a few tips for tidying up your EYA home.

Take a peek at our Homeowner Maintenance video series, chocked full of helpful tips for common finishes and cleaning exterior areas of the home.

Looking to make way for your Spring wardrobe? We’re collecting gently used career attire in our clothing drive for A Wider Circle. Donate in DC, Alexandria or Bethesda.

Before you toss unneeded household items, check to see if it’s on the list of Green America’s 21 Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle. They have a solution for discarding all sorts of items like CFL bulbs, pantyhose and “technotrash”.

Making an Eco-Friendly Move into Your New Home

November 6, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

(Editor’s Note: Today, we’re joined by JK Moving Services with tips on sustainable moving practices.)

For today’s consumer, sustainable practices are part of their everyday lives, even in the home buying process. EYA has answered the call, providing eco-friendly options and materials for its new homes.

After you’ve selected your new EYA home, all the finishes, and eagerly anticipate your closing date, another thought springs to mind – the actual move into your new home.  You may wonder, is there such a thing as a “green” mover?

Absolutely, there is! Here are four questions you can ask your potential mover during the in-home estimate, as you prepare for your upcoming move.

1. Do you have recycling and reuse programs?

These programs can run the gamut.  What you want to know is that the mover has a plan for keeping waste out of the landfill.  For example, some movers offer free, “gently-used” packing boxes to their customers as a way to re-use materials.  Also, your mover may offer pick-up services for your boxes, to ensure they are properly recycled or re-used.

2. How are your trucks maintained?

Trucks are an inherent part of moving, and your moving company can help lessen the trucks’ impact on the environment. Just like a passenger car, a higher miles per gallon (MPG) for trucks means less fuel consumption overall.  To improve MPG, a rigorous maintenance schedule for the truck fleet can ensure optimal fuel consumption. Other sustainable practices can include recycling vehicle batteries and anti-freeze, upgraded power units (on tractor trailers) with environmentally-friendly generators to reduce idling, and use of ultra-low sulfur diesel to reduce vehicle emissions.

Proper maintenance of JK's fleet improves reliability and reduces overall fuel consumption.Proper maintenance of JK’s fleet improves reliability and reduces overall fuel consumption.

3. How “green” are the packing materials?

These days, movers’ cardboard boxes should be composed of about 30% recycled material.  Too much recycled material in moving boxes, and they would not be sturdy enough to protect your belongings.  Another area where recycled materials come into play is moving blankets or pads, which are used to protect your furniture.  These can also be produced with recycled fabrics.

4. Does the company employ sustainable practices in its overall operations?

Just like any business, you should expect the mover’s corporate office to integrate sustainable practices in its operations.  For example, motion-sensors may be used for lighting in the offices or warehouse to reduce energy waste.  Or the company may have moved to paperless driver logs and payroll for its employees to lessen the amount of paper that is consumed.

At JK Moving Services, we track our green efforts each year, publishing a report of what materials we kept out of the landfill.  This year, we even published an infographic on what was accomplished!  You can check that out here.

As you prepare to move into your new home, we hope you’ll ask your mover about their sustainable business practices.  Even small steps add up to a significant, positive impact on our environment.

What’s more, EYA homebuyers receive $10 off per hour for local moves and 10% off the purchase of new packing materials with JK Moving Services. Simply mention that you are an EYA homeowner when you received your free, in-home estimate.

JK Moving Services has provided local, long distance, and international moving services for residential and commercial customers for more than 30 years. Visit their blog, This End UP, for more tips and resources about creating a worry-free move.

Guest Post: Rooftop Gardens by Love & Carrots

August 15, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Shops, restaurants and farmer’s markets abound within walking distance of your EYA home. But even with all those fantastic options, there’s something superbly convenient about having a small rooftop garden at your home when you’re partaking on a culinary adventure.

Love & Carrots created this beautiful rooftop container garden in the District. They offer planning, design, installation and maintenance services.

Love & Carrots created this beautiful rooftop container garden in the District. They offer planning, design, installation and maintenance services.

Washington favorite, Love & Carrots, a home organic vegetable gardening company, does not only specialize in urban farming in people’s backyards, but also rooftops. The company has constructed and actively maintains numerous roof deck gardens throughout the area. With the open skies and beaming sunlight of a wide-open roof, their roof top gardens have become some of their most successful!

Love & Carrots’ rooftop gardens are done in a combination of pots, containers, troughs, and most recently, kiddie pools.  Depending on the aesthetic preference of the client and the weight capacity of the space, they can use a variety of different containers and trellising. They fill the containers with a special soil mixture, which is a combination of peat moss, sand, and compost that will give your vegetables the healthy environment they need. Love & Carrots then adds drip irrigation systems, which conserve much more water than sprinkler systems or even watering with a hose.

Rooftop gardens quickly turn into an edible paradise with vining sweet potatoes and climbing beans, which they will trellis according to your space, perhaps on railings of an EYA townhouse. Growing your food out of containers as opposed to beds has proven to be equally as successful and quite the visual experience. If you’re a busy traveler, Love & Carrots can also help with watering, maintenance and more.

To explore the possibilities of your space and start gathering ideas for which veggies you may want to grow, check out their website at

EYA Launches Homeowner Maintenance Videos

June 14, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Washington-area homebuyers love our new townhomes and condominiums because they’re low-maintenance and eco-friendly (not to mention walkable to countless neighborhood amenities).

Now, simple home maintenance tasks are easier than ever, thanks to the launch of our Homeowner Maintenance video series on YouTube!

We filmed a variety of common household tasks, such as changing air filters, winterizing for cold weather and cleaning common household finishes. You can view all the how-to videos here.


Our Homeowner Maintenance video series includes:

Winterizing Your Home

Care for Common Finishes

HVAC Care & Maintenance

Spring Cleaning Tips

Health & Safety


The video(s) brought to you by EYA Marketing, LLC are offered to the public for information and entertainment purposes only. The Producers, Writers and Actors of these video(s) have used reasonable efforts in producing these video(s) to provide the information contained therein, but neither Producers, Writers nor Actors of or in these video(s) make any representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy of the information contained in the video(s), nor the applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents of this video.

The information contained in these video(s) is strictly for entertainment and informational purposes. Where manufacturer information or warranties are provided with respect to any equipment in your house, you should rely on such information and warranties and not on the video(s). Before you elect to apply any of the concepts or ideas contained in these video(s), you should verify that such actions are consistent with the manufacturers’ information or warranties. Information regarding the care and maintenance of equipment in your home may also be available from the manufacturer through the manufacturer’s website, and we suggest that you check the manufacturer recommendations first, prior to applying any of the concepts or suggestions seen in the video(s). By applying the concepts or suggestions set forth in the video(s), ou are taking full responsibility for your actions.

No representations or warranties are made by the Producers, Writers or Actors regarding the information set forth in the video(s), and none of the Producers, Writers or Actors, nor the copyright holder of these video(s), shall have any liability of any nature, to any party, for any actual, direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental or consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the material, concepts or suggestions which are set forth in the video(s).

The author and publisher do not warrant the performance, effectiveness or applicability of any websites listed or linked to in these video(s).

All links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy or any other implied or explicit purpose. There may be additional links which are included in the video(s), and none of the Producers, Writers or Actors make any representation or warranty regarding the links which are included or those that are not included in the video(s)..

These video(s) are copyrighted by EYA Marketing, LLC and are protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws, with ALL rights reserved. No part of this may be copied, or changed in any format, sold, or used in any way other than what is outlined within this under any circumstances without express permission from EYA Marketing, LLC.

Rooftop Gardening Tips

May 9, 2013 | by | 1 Comment

Entertaining friends and family on your EYA rooftop terrace is a wonderful way to spend your Spring and Summer nights, why not make the most of your space by adding a beautiful garden?!

Goodhousekeeping’s The Daily Green writes that, “Urban plantings help purify the air of toxins, produce oxygen, decrease harmful stormwater runoff, reduce the “heat island effect” and provide some food and habitat for wildlife. We can also grow some of our own fresh produce, keep bees, and increase property values.”

Who wouldn’t want that? Just in time for Spring, our EYA Experts have compiled some tips for utilizing your beautiful rooftop terrace as your own personal urban garden!

Start with the foundation – the flower pots!

Consider the weight of your pots. No one wants to lug a heavy, bulky container up a few flights, right? Keep it light weight, for your sake and for the roof’s sake. Terra-cotta and cement pots can be heavy, especially with wet soil inside. This can put extra pressure on your rooftop terrace. An easy solution is to use a lightweight variety, such as fiberglass, aluminum or even wood. Plastic styles may be cheaper and lighter, but they will deteriorate over time in the UV sunlight.

  • Fiberglass pots are a great choice if you like the look of carved pottery and modern streamlined designs, but choose the color wisely; light-colored planters can lessen heat absorption during the hotter months, which will keep the soil moist and help the plant’s roots grow evenly.
  • Aluminum or metal designs are contemporary and won’t crack during the winter months, but be warned, these pots get very hot in direct sunlight, and plants may need to be watered more frequently.
  • Hardwood styles are designed to last, but they are also very susceptible to rot, so choose a relatively rot resistant Redwood or Cedar, and keep the wood elevated off the ground to avoid speeding up the rotting process.


Lightweight fiberglass, like these grey fiber-stone planters, are attractive, trendy and will fit your space perfectly!


Get creative when choosing the style and size. Choose containers or pots that flatter the design of your rooftop terrace. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. When choosing the size, consider using a pot or container that is larger, versus a smaller one. Large pots retain more moisture than small pots, thus reducing the watering from twice daily to once daily. It seems like common sense, but make sure your pots have drainage holes – if someone is not able to water the plants every day, use pots or containers with a drip tray to ensure drainage holes soak up water as needed. HGTV suggests placing rocks on the bottom of your containers or pots to ensure proper drainage. Or, if weight is an issue, use Styrofoam packing peanuts. Genius!

Now that you have the pots, shop for your garden!

Start with potting soil. Shop for varieties of “soil-less” potting mixes, not garden soil. (Yes, there is a difference!) Soil-less potting mixtures are less dense and don’t compact as much as your average top soil or garden soil, so it makes it easier to work with in planters. Also, even when wet, it is much lighter than wet garden soil, again, reducing the pressure on your roof. You can buy these pre-mixed varieties from local garden centers, such as Ginko Gardens in Southeast DC, Eclectic Nature in Alexandria, VA and Merrifield Garden Center in Merrifield, VA.

Combine shrubs, dwarf tree varieties, climbing plants and flowers to add depth and texture to your garden! Impatiens are a go-to for city gardeners. They can withstand heat, wind, sun and poor soil and air quality.

Consider the weather conditions. Wind and drought tolerant plants are important for a rooftop garden. Tough, shrubby grasses are very heat and sunlight tolerant, and can be used to give year round interest and shelter less-hardy plants from the wind. Also, select small-leaved plant varieties, as larger leaves shred easily in the wind. Examples of hardy plants for your rooftop are some Evergreen shrubs (e.g. Junipers or dwarf Spruces), Phormium, and Blue Fescue.

Play up contrasting textures. Make your garden flow by mixing varieties of ornamental grasses, evergreens, and colorful annuals. When thinking about color, Thomas Lewis of Floral Studio – NY suggests keeping your colors cohesive. Lewis states “limiting your palette makes your space appear larger.” Also, stray away from too many ideas. To keep a more organized feel to your terrace, New York City rooftop garden designer Amber Freda says to “Pick two or three planter styles and two or three colors and repeat them throughout the space. Any more than this and you could end up with a rooftop garden that doesn’t look very organized.” You can use one of our favorite resources, Gardening Knowhow, to read up on the best full-sun plants for Spring.

Designer, Amber Freda, used a mixture of pink crepe myrtle trees, dwarf blue spruces, ornamental grasses, and sedum and knockout roses in beautiful cedar wood planters to create cohesion.


For even more tips on planning your rooftop terrace design, check out our previous blog entry here.

Planning your vision is the hardest part, and once you’ve done that, just purchase, pot, and watch your garden grow! Happy rooftop gardening!

EYA wants YOU to share your rooftop terrace gardens with us, tweet us your pics @EYAHomes or post them on our Facebook wall!


EYA Launches Homeowner Discount Program with Repax

May 8, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Planning an upcoming move to your new home in The Neighborhoods of EYA? Consider Repax eco-friendly moving solutions.

The Repax mission is simple, “to make your move as easy and affordable as possible while minimizing your environmental impact.”

Repax is an innovative packing system that utilizes reusable interlocking plastic crates, rather than cardboard boxes. The crates are cleaner, sturdier, and larger than the average cardboard box. And the best part about the Repax service? They deliver the crates and dollies to your door, and when you’re done with the move, they come pick them up!

Just call. Pack. Give Back.

Visit to view their newest commercial, price your move, compare Repax to a traditional move, read customer reviews, and order your delivery online! Enter the special EYA promotion code, EYA1_2013, to receive 10% off your next move.

P.S. You can now bundle Repax and Zipvan! Combine your EYA Homeowner Discounts for a more affordable, easier move in the city. Move Smart!