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Study Measures Impacts of Smart Growth Developments

Smart Growth | EYA Company News | Green Building | Transportation

Study Measures Impacts of Smart Growth Developments Blog Feature

By: EYA Homes on April 22nd, 2013

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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.

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.