The NAHB announced that The Village in Burns Harbor, a development in Northwest Indiana, is the first to earn a land development certification under the ANSI 700-2008 National Green Building Standard. When complete, the neo-traditional community will include a mix of 265 residential units along with a town center containing retail and commercial space. Sixty homes have been built so far; two by Coolman Communities achieved Silver in the NAHB’s Model Green Home Building Guidelines. Following the approval of the National Green Building Standard by ANSI, developer T. Clifford Fleming revised The Village’s requirements so that all remaining homes will have to earn a minimum ANSI-Silver rating.

Land development certification is governed by Chapter 4 of the National Standard, “Site Design and Development,” which awards a range of points for subsections targeting site selection, mission and goals, site design, site development, and innovative practices. The program emphasizes avoiding impact on environmentally sensitive areas, protecting natural features, and minimizing and mitigating disturbances from construction, especially as they relate to slope disturbance, stormwater management, and landscaping. Points also are available for increasing residential density and mixed-use, pedestrian walkways, minimized street widths, and access to public transit.

The Village’s 60-acre site sits on unused farmland and abandoned commercial properties, and is within 5 miles of two train stations and a bus stop, meeting the Standard’s requirement for mass transit access points.

“The development is designed around pedestrian activity and parks with access to the town center,” says NAHB program verifier Chris Schwarzkopf of Energy Diagnostics in Valparaiso, Ind. “The roads are narrower to reduce impermeable materials, a retention pond collects rain runoff and is already attracting wildlife, and we protected large trees and landscaped with native species.”

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