There are several new housing developments in Willow Glen, but one in particular caught my eye while walking the neighborhood the other day. The new development at Falcon Place is one of only a few green homes in the San Jose area and certainly one of a few LEED certified home developments. I toured the model homes and was very impressed with not only the green features of the homes but also the quality, and the layout of the homes. They are spacious and present very well.
First, let me explain what having LEED certification means. There are several LEED certifications available for a building. The levels are: Certified, Silver, Gold, and the ultimate, Platinum. As of August 2008, there were only 140 homes certified LEED Platinum in the United States. The LEED certification is based on how a home ranks regarding a variety of building categories. Examples of the areas scored are design, sustainability, indoor environmental quality, and energy efficiency. Based on the credits earned in each category the home is awarded a specific designation.
Falcon Place is a development by Pinn Brothers. The Pinn Brothers have been a developer in the San Francisco Bay area since 1974. Falcon Place community has 19 homes within walking distance to downtown Willow Glen. The homes have four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths with 2300 square feet.
As a solar home, Falcon Place provides integrated solar panels from BP Solar that blend into the roofline. This system is then tapped into the electric meter and will actually spin backwards when the solar panels are generating electricity. With solar energy production, BP Solar projects this development is expected to offset 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, an amount equivalent to planting 4,830 trees.
According to the Falcon Place brochure, the homes are 15% above Energy Star standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the Energy Star standards. The homes have double-paned, low-e windows; programmable set back thermostats, and a quick recovery 50-gallon water heater. Other features of these homes include water saving showerheads, low-flow toilets, and weather stripping.
If you are interested in viewing green homes in the area, please let me know. As a certified green REALTOR®, I am able to help you find homes that are LEED certified or are simply more eco-friendly.