So, it’s good to be green, right? The people behind a Washington project called zHome sure think so. I read about zHome this morning, and it got me thinking again about the potential for some great new projects along the light rail line here in Arizona. I remembered Don Keuth talk of the need for affordable infill developments, and I remembered the article from June of this year talking about the creation of a $20 million investment in affordable living near the light rail line.
ZHome in Issaquah, WA is being billed as affordable green homes utilizing “smart design and cutting edge technologies to radically reduce its environmental impacts.” On the ZHome web site, their location page says they are near a Park and Ride lot which got me thinking about how much land is available near our line for a cool infill project like this.
“zHome is located in Issaquah Highlands, just east of the Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride.”
zHome is a relatively small project of 10 homes that will “emit net zero carbon emissions.” Now, I’m no tried and true green expert, but I do know the climate is slightly different in Phoenix than it is in Washington. While the low water use ratings based on utilizing rainwater may not work as well here in the PHX, I bet the solar energy portion of the project would do just fine.
As you look at projects like this or even some that are not quite as Earth-friendly, you may start to think about the location of a home factoring into the green equation. As we see more people living near the light rail line, we will hear more about people saving some cash and using less gas than those relying solely on a car to get around town. Taking advantage of living near a good transportation system can benefit wallets AND help make smaller carbon footprints.
“in major urban areas, individuals on average save $9,656 annually by using public transportation instead of driving.” – APTA
As people continue to discuss the future of our light rail system, there will need to be many discussions of what will work best in terms of development for sustainable growth. Obviously, the choices are many. If given the opportunity to live near the line in a green home, do you think more people would do so?