Category Archives: Green Building

Green building news and resources

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 www.loveandcarrots.com.

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 www.repax.com 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!

EYA Launches Homeowner Discounts with Zipcar

May 2, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Zipcar is readying their fleet for the Spring/Summer driving season. What better time to launch our Homeowner Discount program with them!?

Many EYA neighborhoods are within walking distance of Zipcar locations.

We love the concept of car sharing. You maintain the convenience of access to a car, but don’t have the burden of car payments, insurance, gas and registration. With Zipcar, gas and insurance are included, and you can pay either by the hour, or by the day.

Now, you can pick up a Zipcar near our walkable new home neighborhoods and save $30 off the first year’s annual fee, plus receive $30 in free driving credits!

Simply visit http://www.Zipcar.com/EYA to register. Beep beep!

 

Study Measures Impacts of Smart Growth Developments

April 22, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Bethesda, MD – Washington-area homebuilder and real estate developer EYA has long focused on close-in, walkable new home developments throughout the region. Fittingly, the company places a strong emphasis on sustainable design, green building and smart growth. While EYA has heard anecdotally that its neighborhoods and construction techniques have improved their homeowner’s lives, the company recently commissioned a third-party study to measure the true lifestyle benefits of living in an EYA neighborhood.

EYA selected third-party research firm, Robert Charles Lesser & Company (RCLCO), to conduct a survey of homeowners among its recently built communities in Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA. Owners were asked to report their actual energy & water usage, commuting and lifestyle habits. RCLCO also collected comparison energy & water usage data for older homes and newer homes built by other homebuilders.

The findings are:

  1. 60% of EYA homeowners have an “alternative” commute, as compared to only 32% of Washingtonians[1].
  2. 73% of EYA homeowners have a commute less than 30 minutes, which is 10% shorter than the DC-average[2].
  3. The average EYA homeowner walks 32 minutes per day, compared to the national average of only 13 minutes[3].
  4. 71% of EYA homeowners walk to Metro at least once a week, compared to only 15% of Washington-area residents[4].
  5. The average EYA household has only 1.43 cars, compared to a regional & national average of 1.9 cars per household[5].
  6. The average EYA household drives only 21 miles per day, as compared to a regional average of 26.3 miles per person[6].
  7. By moving into an EYA community, owners report driving 25 miles less per week, which saves them $734.50 per year[7].
  8. EYA homeowners report saving $258 per year on utility bills (or 9%) versus older homes or other new construction.
  9. 88% of EYA homeowners report that moving into an EYA neighborhood positively impacted their lives by bringing amenities within walking distance.
  10. In a typical EYA new home development, the company recycles 85% of construction debris, diverting over 2,000 tons of waste from landfills[8].

The study is timely for EYA, as it recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, 4,000th settlement and completed its 500th LEED certification. The results are a testament to the merits of the green building techniques the company has implemented in pursuing LEED certification, along with the lifestyle benefits of living in a walkable neighborhood.

Living in a Statistically Smarter Neighborhood, an EYA Infographic

ABOUT EYA

EYA is a smart growth developer, specializing in walkable new home communities and mixed-use developments.  Since its founding in 1992, the company has built over 30 neighborhoods in the Washington Metropolitan area. Learn more at http://www.EYA.com.

ABOUT RCLCO

Robert Charles Lesser & Company (RCLCO) is the largest independent real estate advisory firm in the nation. The company provides strategic and tactical advice regarding property investment, planning, and development. RCLCO has offices in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA, Austin, TX and Orlando, FL. Learn more at http://www.RCLCO.com.

 


[1] Commuting in the United States, 2009. Data for households earning $75K+ per year. U.S. Census Bureau. September 2011.

[2] Commute Times in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis. June 2001.

[3] Vital Signs: Walking Among Adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. August 2012.

[4] Commuting in the United States, 2009. U.S. Census Bureau. September 2011.

[5] Consumer Expenditures for the Washington, DC Area: 2010-2011. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[6] Mega Commuting in the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. November 2012.

[7] Using an IRS mileage rate of 56.5 cents.

[8] Data compiled using actual construction waste recycling reports from Northern Virginia Waste.

 

EYA Launches Final Phase at Chancellor’s Row

October 18, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

It seems like just yesterday EYA broke ground on the new townhomes at Chancellor’s Row, the 10-acre development on the grounds of St. Paul’s College where Brookland & Edgewood meet.

Since then, the Artspace Lofts were completed and occupied, Monroe Street Market went under construction, Menomale opened, and 901 Monroe began demolition. The neighborhood has a noticeable new vibe, yet maintains the same charming architecture and close-knit community feel.

Even San Antonio Grill got a facelift.

 

San Antonio's Nifty New Sign (Photo Courtesy of http://brooklandavenue.com/blog/)

EYA has sold 65% of the 237 homes at Chancellor’s Row, a LEED for Homes certified development located just steps from Brookland-CUA Metro station on the red line. Construction is maintaining pace closely with sales and over 120 households have moved in.

Photo of the first building at Chancellor's Row (Model Home Row) while under construction in early 2011.

The community features an onsite Zipcar, soon-to-come Capital Bikeshare station, tot lots, three acres of open space and beautiful rooftop terrace views. Chancellor’s Row was named “Community of the Year” by the local building industry associations.

Chancellor's Row, now, "Model Home Row"

The final phase at Chancellor’s Row, comprised of 64 units, abuts 5th and 6th Streets just off Franklin Street NE. Home styles include three and four bedrooms, traditional brick or stone facades, along with the final 12 “Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU)” homes.

To learn more about Chancellor’s Row, visit the community website, or attend our special event this Saturday, October 20th from 1 PM – 4 PM, with catering from Old Europe.

Free Live Green Memberships Make Saving Easy

August 22, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

Did you know EYA homeowners enjoy a complimentary one-year membership to the area’s leading green living discount program, Live Green?

Simply stop by the EYA sales center to pick up your membership activation code, which earns you a discount card to use around town at over 100 eco-friendly businesses.

Capital Bikeshare is just one of the many businesses offering discounts to Live Green members.

A sampling of the benefits include:

  • 10% off online giftcard purchases for Busboys and Poets
  • $10 off an annual Capital Bikeshare membership
  • $25 rebate when switching your power provider to Clean Currents
  • 10% off composting services through Fat Worm Compost
  • 10% off dining and drinks at Local 16
  • 10% off moving packages with eco-mover Repax
  • 5% off all pet products at The Big Bad Woof
  • 50% off the first-year annual fee with Zipcar

Living green is easy in an EYA home. Whether you’re reducing your carbon footprint by ditching the car, saving energy in your LEED home or cutting back on water consumption through your low-flow water fixtures, you’re making green choices everyday.

So while you’re enjoying the dollar savings in your energy efficient home, we hope that your complimentary Live Green membership saves you a few bucks around town, too!