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Green Neighborhoods Taking Off

Updated: Aug 1, 2008 05:26 PM EDT

Home builders, buyers and everyone in between seem to be turning environmentally friendly. Last year, Albemarle County's latest green development, Belvedere, began construction. 

This week, the first homeowners moved in. They're part of a trend that builders say is only getting bigger. The green neighborhood is the product of Stonehaus development.

"People from all over the country have been inquiring about it," said Stonehaus Development Manager L.J. Lopez.

When all is said and done, the neighborhood will have more than 400 homes that meet strict environmental guidelines. "That's what drew me to the idea of Belvedere is the concept of sustainability, a sustainable neighborhood that doesn't just look good, but actually works with all the pieces together," said Belvedere homeowner Bret Harris.

Builders all over Central Virginia are tapping into this trend. Upstream Construction only builds "green" homes. "More people are catching onto it. I think with increasing oil prices, people are looking at much more efficient homes," offered Upstream Construction President Terry Herndon.

In Upstream's latest project, everything from the building materials to the air quality is earth conscious. A concept that builders say will one day become the norm.    

"It's been great to be the first homeowner. I'm really excited, I'm really happy and looking forward to meeting my new neighbors," shared White.

New homeowners in Belvedere have their own website about their experience. View their website here.

Reported by Christina Mora
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