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.