Visit one of Georgia's most innovative communities on Monday,April 22nd with the Coalition for Sound Growth and Historic Columbus.
Click HERE to sign up for the trip!
The land planning of Serenbe is developed not only according to sustainability principles, protecting the wetlands and preserving over 70 percent of the land as green space, but also with respect for the cultural history of the land, which is largely agricultural. The ruins of an early farm settlement have been protected, as have some Native American archaeological sites.
The master plan for the settlement calls for three hamlets, both based on sacred geometry principles with buildings clustered along a serpentine-like omega form fitted to the undulations of the land. The result is that the omega form creates a closer relationship between the community and the surrounding natural beauty of the land. These methods of arranging the community require minimal land grading and land disturbances, and also allow the community to reserve large areas of undeveloped green space. In fact, Serenbe is the first development to be approved since the Fulton County Board of Commissioners officially adopted the Chattahoochee Land Use Plan, which calls for green space preservation utilizing historic village and hamlet development patterns.
Unlike typical suburban forms of development, Serenbe uses an innovative density plan that fosters architectural diversity and undomesticated stretches of nature.
The three distinct hamlets are named Selborne, Grange and Mado. Selborne is the center for arts (performing, visual and culinary), and is currently home to about 100 residents, the Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, StudioSwan Art Gallery, Goode’s For the Home, Gloriosa Style, and The Hil restaurant. Here, you’ll find stunning attention to artistic detail, from the glowing streetlamps created by an artist especially for the Selborne hamlet to the iron bike racks, benches and even trash cans. Grange, currently under construction, is the farm hamlet, given its proximity to the Serenbe Organic Farms and Serenbe Stables. With hilly terrain and sweeping views of 50 miles of greenspace, the lake, and preserved forestland, homes here will feel as though they’re nestled in a mountain retreat. Grange will also be home to a barbecue restaurant, a tack store, feed and seed shop, and arts and crafts studios. The third community, which is in the planning stages, is Mado—named for the Creek-Indian word meaning “things in balance.” Here, you’ll find the destination spa, an upscale boutique hotel, vegetarian restaurant, juice bar, traditional and holistic medical services, assisted living, and more.
One of the most pleasing aspects of Serenbe is the architectural diversity of the community. Some building materials and styles are inspired and shaped by local historic dwellings, and also sometimes implemented with a contemporary approach. Each home is certified to EarthCraft Homes “green” standards.
This event is currently sold out. Contact our office about a waiting list.
Dean Wood, lead archaeologist at Southern Research was part of the team assisting in the removal of the dams and the analysis of the historic riverbed and findings. Come hear this interesting discussion of how they went about their work and what was found. To make a reservation, contact Historic Columbus, 706-322-0756.
To live green at home, and reduce your monthly energy bills, it's important to evaluate windows. If you live in an older residence, don't assume that replacement windows are the only option. Historic wooden windows are remarkably efficient as long as they're well maintained. (And there's nothing greener than preserving what you already have.) Conversely, manufacturing and installing replacement windows consumes enormous amounts of energy. Keep these tips in mind as you consider your options:
Older is Better: Old windows were fabricated from old wood. It's generally denser and lasts longer than the new wood used for modern windows.
Caveat Emptor: Some salespeople promote replacements as cure-alls, but even the highest-quality replacement units can fail. In addition, experts note that new vinyl or PVC replacement windows can release toxic byproducts into the atmosphere.
Watch Your Pennies: Tearing out existing windows to install replacements is expensive and wasteful.Although you may achieve some energy savings, it will take decades (or centuries) to recoup your investment. Plus, you'll have to dispose of the old windows, adding to the nation's waste management woes.
Maintenance is Key: A well-sealed, tight-fitting window saves energy.
Check for Condensation: It can rot window sills and rails.
Use Storm Windows: They increase energy efficiency. Monitor them for clues about your house. Cold air leaking in through a storm window can create condensation on your window panes. Warm air escaping from your house can cause a storm to fog up.
Insulate: More heat is typically lost through the roof and walls than through windows. Adding just 31⁄2 inches of insulation to your attic can save more energy than new windows.
Install Window Treatments: Something as simple as a conventional window shade mounted inside the frame and touching the sill, with no more than a 1⁄4-inch gap at the sides, can reduce heat loss by as much as 27 percent. A shade with a reflective coating will provide even more protection.
Remember to. . .
1. Keep all exterior surfaces painted A coat of paint protects wood. Pay particular attention to horizontal surfaces, such as window sills, where water collects.
2. Replace glazing compound (the putty that holds panes in place) when it dries out. Missing or cracked compound results in air infiltration. Always paint glazing after it has cured.
3. Maintain window locks Functioning locks hold rails tightly in place. A tight fit reduces air exchange.
4. Keep movable surfaces free of paint buildup so that sashes slide freely.
5. Replace any cracked or broken panes promptly.
6. Add or renew weather stripping where it makes sense. When correctly installed, weather stripping can increase a window's efficiency by as much as 50 percent.
7. Watch for water Whenever you use storm windows, remember to clear the weep holes at the base to allow condensation to drain away.
8. Check seals around exterior storms and caulk well.
9. Test for air leaks On a windy day, hold a lighted birthday candle or incense stick near the window frame to detect drafts.
10. Think about safety Evaluate emergency exit routes before sealing windows with caulk or adding storms.
From "Preservation", The National Trust for Historic Preservation. March/April 2009