Agrihoods: The Intersection of Sustainable Farming & Actual Property


Agrihoods are residential housing developments with a professionally managed farm as its centerpiece. Thought-about healthy-lifestyle communities, agrihoods are designed with a goal — to attach individuals with the land not only for agricultural actions, however to additionally shield and help conservation of farmlands, forests, watersheds, and wildlife habitat.

Agrihood communities, which will be close to cities or in rural settings, will be comprised of as much as 70 p.c open house, together with land devoted to agricultural actions and animal pastures. Residents not solely profit from entry to recent, sustainably sourced meals, however in addition they benefit from the shut connection to the farm and collaborating in planting and harvesting.

Agrihood Sustainability

Many agrihoods are constructed on heritage farmland, and the place potential, builders rent authentic farm members of the family to assist plan and handle agricultural operations. As an alternative of displacing farmland for housing growth, agrihood builders construct a group farm thrive by offering capital and infrastructure, and by supporting the native economic system.

The agrihood idea is comparatively new, and houses are sustainably constructed with power conservation options. These might embrace “internet zero” functionality, solar energy, geothermal power, Power Star home equipment, and fiber-optic expertise. Many developments are LEED-certified, and agrihoods all through the

At present, there are about 100 agrihood communities all through the USA, with many extra deliberate within the subsequent few years. Surprisingly, you’ll find agrihoods inside shut proximity to metropolitan areas. “City agrihoods” are usually mixed-use, walkable communities that embrace rental residences, retail retailers, workplace house, and eating places.

Prime Examples of Sustainable Agrihoods

S*Park, Denver, Colorado

S*Park in Denver, Colorado. Picture courtesy: Jess Blackwell for S*Park

S*Park in Denver, Colorado, also called “Sustainability Park,” is a condominium advanced that makes use of solar energy, inexperienced house, renewable power sources, stormwater administration, composting, high-efficiency electrical techniques, and sustainable development all through. Residents on this city agrihood have entry to a 7,200 square-foot greenhouse with year-round natural meals manufacturing, together with 10,000 sq. ft of city gardens. Parking is beneath avenue stage and contains charging stations for electrical automobiles.

Positioned lower than 1 mile from Downtown Denver, S*Park boasts a stroll rating of 96 and a motorcycle rating of 97. It’s solely a brief stroll to greater than 20 eating places, 11 galleries, 10 boutiques, 7 breweries, 10 espresso retailers, 5 music venues, 1 lodge, and a 350,000 square-foot neighborhood park. After finishing graduate research in sustainable actual property growth, S*Park resident and growth affiliate Joe Latson mentioned, “My spouse and I needed to dwell at S*Park, as a result of it’s a actual instance of what city dwelling will be.”

Olivette, Ashville, North Carolina

house in Olivette agrihood

Olivette in Ashville, North Carolina. Picture courtesy: Olivette

Winner of the 2019 Gold Award for “Finest Inexperienced Group within the U.S.” by the Nationwide Affiliation of House Builders, Olivette is a 346-acre deliberate group and historic farm, positioned alongside the French Broad River, simply 6.7 miles from downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Olivette has additionally received three awards from North Carolina House Builders together with the 2018 and 2019 Finest Sustainable Group Award, and the 2018 and 2019 NC Group of the Yr.

Olivette residents have entry to seven acres of riverfront parkland, a big personal river island, a number of miles of strolling trails, group gardens, a pavilion, amphitheater, and lots of occasions and actions.

The 6-acre natural farm makes use of the best stage of sustainable rising practices and presents many considerate conveniences to residents. Award-winning houses provide geothermal heating and cooling, photo voltaic panels, fiberoptic expertise, and energy-efficient home equipment. Founding Associate Alison Smith stories that “a number of houses as giant as 3,000 sq. ft have achieved net-zero or a particularly low HERS score for power consumption.”

Freehold Communities: Orchard Ridge & Miralon

Freehold Communities is a nationwide developer of master-planned communities, together with a number of agrihoods which have acquired dozens of nationwide awards, together with greatest sustainable panorama design. Orchard Ridge in Liberty Hill, Texas, has built-in its orchards, edible landscapes, and group farm inside a real Texas Hill Nation pure setting.

Environmental issues for the remedy of wildlife, rivers, basins, creeks, and ponds earned Orchard Ridge the celebrated Gold Nugget Award for Finest Panorama Structure for a New Group.

Mature olive trees at Miralon agrihood

Mature olive timber at Miralon, Palm Springs, California. Picture courtesy: Freehold Communities

One other master-planned group from Freehold Communities, Miralon in Palm Springs, California, served as “A Case Research within the Desert” for a nationwide Constructing Sustainable Neighborhoods report for Neighborhoods USA. The group devoted 70 p.c of its open house to a working grove of seven,000 olive timber, changing a beforehand constructed golf course.

Agricultural elements additionally embrace group gardens, citrus groves, fruit, and nut timber. The 1,150 modernist-inspired residences all have photo voltaic power and different power conservation options. Core ideas for sustainability embrace landscaping restrictions, impervious floor limitations, water effectivity, carbon sequestration from olive timber and groundcover, composting, added shade, and darkish sky compliance.

In regards to the Creator

Anna DeSimone is the writer of Welcome to the Agrihood: Housing, Procuring, and Gardening for a Farm-to-Desk Way of life and Housing Finance 2020: New Mortgage Packages for the New Technology of Homebuyers. She has authored greater than 40 skilled guidebooks on the subject of mortgage origination, compliance, and truthful lending. Be taught extra at www.annadesimone.internet.

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