Sunday, April 5, 2009

GreenSource Magazine features Galleries at Turney on cover

[Source: GreenSource Magazine] -- The Anti-Tract Houses: A developer blends the single-family home mentality of old Phoenix with the urban density of the row house to create a new southwestern sensibility. The Galleries at Turney enjoy the distinction of being the first LEED for Homes Certified project in Arizona. However, this eight-unit development would turn the heads of even the most eco-oblivious passers-by. In a central Phoenix neighborhood of low-slung, sun-parched mid-century ranches -- what historian Colin Rowe called “ranchburgers” -- and some brand-new spec-developer Styrofoam villas, the Galleries are unapologetically, refreshingly, non-contextual.

“The anti-tract home” is how the Galleries’ developer, Ed Gorman, of Phoenix-based Modus Development, describes his ambitious new project, with its compact site plan and street elevations that blend corrugated-zinc panels, exposed-block walls, weathered-steel doors, and glass curtain walls. As such, the Galleries, designed by the young Phoenix firm [merz] project, join the growing portfolio of recent Phoenix housing that challenges the local tendency to let the national production home builders loose on the landscape, with predictably generic results. [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Going Green to Save Green

[Source: Arizona Republic - Home] People who are looking to buy home now want them to be green - not only eco-friendly green, but economically green.

"Saving money is the Number 1 thing when it comes to green," says Ed Gorman, founder of Modus Development, which built Galleries at Turney, an "urban green" development in central Phoenix.

More than low-VOC paints and how the wood is engineered - and way above saving water - it's money."

At The Galleries at Turney, the utility bill for a 2,000-square foot home is about $125 in the middle of summer. "That's what gets people's attention," he says. "I firmly believe that in five years everything built will have to be green, whether LEED or some other standard. What will drive it? Whether demand by consumer or required by the government, some source will have to make it."

This urban oasis of eight homes by Modus Development is the first community in Arizona to be LEED certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a national benchmark of standards for eco-friendly building.

One of the most striking aspects is the exterior. The houses are covered in corrugated zinc that's suspended off the walls by an inch, which lets hot air flow behind it and continuously shades the building, Gorman says, adding, "Architects come from around the world to see it." The roof includes a reflective coating to keep it cool.

The homes were built on a plot of land that used to include two-single family houses. With desert landscaping, controlled irrigation and other water-saving features, Gorman estimates the eight homes use less water than the two houses that were there before.

Still the homes have to be appealing, so the builder included a wall of glass that treated to resist heat transfer. The homes include energy efficient Bosch appliances and are pre-wired for solar power.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Home, green home

Sep 4th 2008 - From The Economist print edition

...Indeed, a green-home boom is getting under way, thanks to rising energy prices, new standards (the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Britain’s Code for Sustainable Homes and California’s Green Building Standards Code, to name three recent examples), and improved technologies. Many of these technologies have been around for a while, but they are now ready for the mainstream. In 2007 McGraw Hill Construction, a research firm, reported that 40% of all renovation in America included some green features, mostly windows and heating/cooling systems. The company predicts green homes will account for 10% of all building starts in America by 2010, with new green homes worth $20 billion in that year. When housing arises from its torpor, it could find itself transformed.

Greenery can be hard to define, so the emergence of credible certifiers is clarifying things. The most stringent form of certification is the German Passivhaus standard, which applies to buildings that reduce their energy requirements so dramatically—by 90% compared with standard construction—that they can forgo heating and cooling systems. In 2007 the United States Green Building Council released a version of its LEED green-building standard that applies to homes...

...And for more than a decade, America’s Environmental Protection Agency has offered Energy Star for Homes, a label indicating specific features meant to reduce energy use.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tell Us What You Think...

Modus Development has quickly built a great reputation for building state-of-the-art, green urban homes in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, but we couldn't have done it without you! Are strongest supporter is the consumer who cares about the environment around you and that's NOT just from an eco-friendly impact by using green products and technologies but also how your crib looks, fits into it's environment and builds equity for your future.

You recognize that it's okay to have your cake and eat it to! In other words, you walk the walk by combining green, looks and value into one package. You understand that you don't have to live in a tree house to help the environment and we know that we can ask you for your input on what we are doing now and what we plan in the future!

This site is for you, the hip urban and green consumer to tell us "what up" when it comes to what you like and don't like in the homes you want to buy and live in and this site is for you to tell us like it is!

Watch this site for articles and updates about the places we're building in Arizona and asking you for your honest comments and suggestions!

Thanks again for your [sometimes] painfully honest but always welcome comments and insight!