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Thinking green: EYA's approach to building sustainable neighborhoods

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Thinking green: EYA's approach to building sustainable neighborhoods Blog Feature

By: EYA Homes on April 17th, 2024

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Happy Earth Day! Celebrated annually on April 22nd, Earth Day is a great opportunity to reflect on our individual and collective impact on the environment and evaluate the choices we make in our daily lives, including where and how we live. EYA thinks green not only when it comes to where and how we build, but also how our homeowners will live. This includes building neighborhoods in close-in locations with easy access to transit and open green spaces, environmentally-friendly home features and more. 

We understand our environmental footprint is not only measured in our actions, but also in the communities and lifestyles we foster for our homeowners. Continue reading to learn more about how environmental stewardship is ingrained in every aspect of EYA's homebuilding from site selection to design and function. 

Thinking Green: Where We Build

Transit-oriented communities offering life within walking distance

Since 1992, EYA's brand promise has been to offer our homeowners the best of life within walking distance®. By building new home communities in close-in locations, residents have easy access to transit, shops, restaurants and recreation, and can rely less on cars to get around. And many EYA communities are nearby parks and trails, or even provide onsite open green spaces, such as landscaped lawns, walking trails, children's playgrounds and more. 

Reservoir Hero

EYA's townhomes at Reservoir District in DC will offer residents exceptional onsite amenities including a brand new District of Columbia community recreation center, 6-acres of public park space, shopping, dining and more. 

Transforming underutilized land into walkable communities

EYA focuses on developing underutilized urban infill land into townhome, multifamily, mixed-use and mixed-income communities. This includes transforming outdated suburban office parks with excess surface parking into next-generation walkable communities.

For example, EYA's townhomes at Reston Station are located on a piece of land that used to house suburban style office buildings with surface parking. Many of these types of office parks have struggled over the last years as more and more people prefer to live and work in walkable urban neighborhoods with amenities right at their door. 

Reston Park

EYA's townhomes at Reston Station in VA feature a park and children's playground and are just steps to Metro, shops, restaurants and recreation. 

At the Reston Station park opening event, EYA President McLean Quinn noted, "What we at EYA are really excited about, is to be able to bring redevelopment of suburban office buildings like these to places like Reston, where people want to live, work, and play. And the fact that our residents can walk down the street to go to Orangetheory Fitness, can walk to Matchbox or Founding Farmers, can live the urban lifestyle that Reston Station offers them is, I think, really a sign of hope for suburban office markets across the country."

In thoughtfully selecting sites that are near transit, amenities and conveniences, we create more walkable communities and offer our homeowners the opportunity to live life within walking distance.

Thinking Green: How We Build

From site planning and design to the construction process, EYA is committed to building sustainable communities.

Vision and site planning

From the initial vision and planning, EYA neighborhood design focuses on creating activated streetscapes that are pedestrian-oriented and foster community among residents. This can include creating new parks and playgrounds to designing welcoming front porches and connected sidewalks where neighbors can greet and get to know each other.

For example, Farmstead District in Rockville, MD will feature a central community center surrounded by open green space, walking trail, and children's playground, all just steps to Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park, the shops at King Farm and the Shady Grove Metro station. Our communities are designed to offer homeowners a walkable lifestyle with nearby amenities and ample opportunities create connection among neighbors. 


Farmstead District in Rockville, MD will feature a central community center with outdoor pool, landscaped lawns, children's playground, walking trail and more. All just steps to parks and established retail shops and restaurants. 

And at EYA's Tysons Ridge community in Falls Church, VA, 38% of the site was designed as open space with 13% as park area that will feature a walking trail, seating areas and more. 

Tysons Sustainable Practices Infographic-1

Minimizing construction waste

Throughout the construction process, EYA is dedicated to minimizing waste. For example, at Tysons Ridge community, 80% of the demolition debris from the former office building that previously occupied the site was recycled.

Green building practices

EYA has long been committed to sustainable green building practices and receiving green building certifications such as LEED for Homes and EarthCraft. These designations are awarded based on features such as:

  • ENERGY STAR appliances, windows and HVAC equipment
  • Low VOC paints, carpets and finishes
  • Low flow faucets and water closets for water conservation
  • Drought tolerant plants
  • Third party inspected airtight and watertight building envelope
  • Located near transit, amenities and infrastructure

In addition to environmental benefits for green certified homes, homeowners can also enjoy more comfortable indoor living environments, potential lower utility bills and peace of mind that their homes are built with the latest green building materials.

Native plantings & stormwater management

Thoughtful consideration is given to landscape materials, native plantings and innovative stormwater management. Whenever possible, we use native plants in our designs to support local biodiversity and ecosystems.

Stormwater management is an integral part of responsible and sustainable redevelopment. EYA communities feature many different stormwater management practices, including both underground systems and more visible systems like bioretention filters. Bioretention filters, often referred to as rain gardens, are designed to naturally collect and clean stormwater runoff, gently releasing it back into the earth through a natural filter of sandy soil, gravel and vegetation. 


The benefits of bioretention filters include:

  • Protection from flooding and draining complications
  • Improved infiltration of water into the soil, replenishing subterranean water reservoirs
  • Protects local streams and lakes by minimizing stormwater-carried pollutants such as fertilizers, car fluids, and pesticides
From the initial vision and community planning to construction and landscaping, EYA is committed to environmental stewardship. 

Thinking Green: How our Homeowners Live

Environmentally-friendly home features & all-electric design

Our commitment to sustainable design extends to environmentally-friendly home features, impacting how our homeowners live. For example, EYA's townhomes at Reservoir District in DC will offer the following features:

  • Low flow water fixtures
  • Enhanced ventilation and low VOC finishes
  • Optional EV charging rough-in
  • Optional solar rough-in
  • Energy-saving LED recessed lighting throughout the home
  • Wifi-enabled smart thermostat
  • ENERGY STAR dishwasher and refrigerator
  • Seeking LEED for Homes Silver certification (the broader Reservoir District neighborhood is seeking LEED for Neighborhood Development Gold certification)

Furthermore, EYA's townhomes at Reservoir District will feature an eco-friendly, all-electric design. That means, no gas lines will be run to the homes and all the home systems and appliances will be electric, including the following. 

  • Electric range & cooktop (with induction option)
  • Electric demand-control water heater
  • Electric HVAC system
  • Optional electric fireplace

So what are the benefits of all-electric homes? There are numerous benefits both for the homeowners and the environment, including:

  • Reduce dependence on fossil fuels: All-electric homes eliminate the need for fossil fuels, reducing dependency on non-renewable resources and promoting cleaner energy consumption. Electric homes can promote the use of alternate energy sources such as wind and solar, deterring away from coal-produced sources of energy.
  • Improved safety: With all-electric homes, there is no risk of gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning associated with gas-powered appliances. Additionally, with no open flames, there is less risk of fire in the home.
  • Better indoor air quality: Electric appliances can provide better indoor air quality compared to their gas counterparts, as they do not produce combustion byproducts or emissions. 
  • More environmentally-friendly: All-electric homes reduce carbon emissions, helping you reduce your carbon footprint. By using electricity as the primary energy source for heating, cooling, cooking, and powering household appliances, these homes can contribute to a cleaner environment. 
  • Potential cost savings for homeowners: All-electric homes typically are highly energy-efficient, which can help lower utility bills for homeowners. Plus, there may be incentives and tax rebates for further cost savings. 
  • One less utility to manage: All-electric homes offer the added convenience of one less utility to manage and maintain, and one less bill to pay. 

All-Electric Infographic-1

When shopping for a home, consider the environmental benefits that new construction homes can offer versus an older resale home and what eco-friendly home features are important to you. 


Earth Day is a great reminder for all of us to think about our impact on the environment and how our choices matter, from where and how we live to how we get around and more. At EYA, we are constantly striving to reduce our environmental footprint and create communities that foster walkable, sustainable lifestyles for our homeowners. 

Features, finishes, functions and specifications are subject to change without notice. Imagery is for illustrative purposes only. LEED registration is not a guarantee of certification and may be subject to change.