That consciousness and the entire environmental program at Windermere on the Lake, says Robbins, appeals on several levels to well-heeled buyers who have already shown their commitment to green by purchasing luxury hybrid cars.

“They’re not going green to save money, but as a social commitment and for a better living experience,” he says. “We’re demonstrating that delivering sustainable, better-built environments does not compromise aesthetics, finishes, or luxury.”

Rich Binsacca is a freelance writer in Boise, Idaho.

PROFILE: Mark Robbins, President, NRDC residential

  • Mark Robbins, President of the eco-development, Windemere-on-the-Lake, inside Cumbria, the model home in North Stamford, CT, on Tuesday, November 18, 2008.

    Credit: Casey Kelbaugh/WPN

    Mark Robbins, President of the eco-development, Windemere-on-the-Lake, inside Cumbria, the model home in North Stamford, CT, on Tuesday, November 18, 2008.
At first glance and by his résumé alone, Mark Robbins may not appear to be a typical environmental advocate. As a developer, he’s suffered the slings and arrows of those who believe the built world leaves too big of a footprint on the natural world.

But Robbins’ words and actions tell a different story, especially with his latest project, Windermere on the Lake. While he’s willing to talk about the eco-features
of the 24 homes planned for the community—one of which (to date) is LEED-Certified and all of which will be built to a high performance standard—he’d much rather discuss the intricacies and benefits of the Habitat Management Plan designed and implemented for the enclave.

“I see my position, from a management perspective, as a steward of the land,” he says. “It’s such a beautiful piece of land. My job was not to mess it up.”

Robbins’ combined development experience and passion for preservation served him well as the project went through a gauntlet of approvals. Despite opposition from neighbors and several high regulatory hurdles, he was able to gain unanimous support from both state and local agencies evaluating the plan.

That commitment, however, does not end when the last house is completed. “You don’t create something like this and gift preserved open space, and then walk away,” he says. “You have to stay and make sure it is protected and managed in perpetuity. Maintaining what we’ve created is the unique aspect of this project.” —R.B.


 

Cabinets

Custom-made kitchen and bath cabinets and other built-in storage throughout the house, designed and fabricated by Christopher Peacock Cabinetry, features formaldehyde-free birch plywood construction to help address indoor air quality considerations. 617.204.9292. www.peacockcabinetry.com.