Location: Richmond, Va.
Certifications: Energy Star, EarthCraft
Cost: $106 per square foot
Builder: Better Homes Inc., Richmond, Va.
Architect: Watershed Architects, Richmond
Developer: Richmond Affordable Housing, Richmond

This 45-unit development in Richmond’s Blackwell neighborhood rose from the site of a 1960s public housing project. The city’s Redevelopment & Housing Authority demolished the public housing with the goal of rebuilding new single-family homes within the existing grid of city blocks with new and improved utilities, alleys, and sidewalks. 

Planners strove to keep existing mature trees and replace those that had to be taken down. Whenever possible, the homes were oriented with south-facing windows to maximize daylighting but with dual-pane, low-E windows and deep overhangs to help control summer heat gain.

Solar hot water heating systems, Icynene foam insulation, Energy Star appliances, and efficient heating and cooling systems were chosen to help reduce residents’ energy costs by up to 50% compared to a traditionally built home.

Located within five minutes of downtown Richmond, many residents are able to walk or bike to work.

Other sustainable features:
- TPO roof with a reflective coating that reflects sunlight and minimizes heat gain
- advanced framing, which used less lumber and allowed for more insulation
--low-VOC paints
--recycled carpet

See previous project.