Thursday, August 2, 2007

Belvedere - The First Inter-Active Neighborhood In Central Virginia!

Belvedere is the latest and greatest in building is green, and it's coming to Charlottesville! Save on utilities, be environmentally friendly, and be a part of the new age in building. If you'd like more information on building green, email me at Please post comments and questions as well.

Belvedere is the First Neighborhood in Central Virginia Accepted into New LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot Program

-- Principles of Smart Growth, Urbanism, and Green Building Showcased in Stonehaus’ Inter-Active Neighborhood --

Charlottesville, VA – July 30, 2007 − Stonehaus, a premier full-service real estate development company in Central Virginia, announced today that its Inter-Active Neighborhood located in Charlottesville, Belvedere, has been accepted into the LEED® for Neighborhood Development Pilot Program, which is being conducted by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Belvedere is the first neighborhood in Central Virginia to participate in this new LEED program, which has developed the highest benchmark system for environmentally responsible and sustainable development.

Located on 207 acres off of Rio Road East in Albemarle County and close to downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, Belvedere will be a mixed-use neighborhood comprised of more than 400 Energy Star* and EarthCraft** certified homes, neighborhood retail space, green office buildings, loft apartments, and a civic core. Belvedere’s Inter-Active Neighborhood design reflects three key elements: showing a commitment to nature and sustainability, encouraging social interaction, and embracing healthy lifestyles.

“We are thrilled to be part of the LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot Program. From the outset, Belvedere was not just about building green homes, but designing an entire neighborhood that supports a vibrant, interactive, healthy community based on sustainability. Receiving LEED certification for an entire neighborhood will be a challenge, but one that Stonehaus is ready and willing to meet for the residents of Charlottesville and Central Virginia,” said Chris Schooley, Director of Development at Stonehaus.

The LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building into the first national rating system for neighborhood design. The rating system will be a tool to help planners and developers create communities that not only protect the environment, but also address important public health issues such as physical activity, traffic accidents, respiratory illnesses, and affordable housing.

“Communities such as Belvedere can play a tremendous role in community development and serve as an example for other developments,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “LEED for Neighborhood Development is designed to recognize and certify neighborhoods, such as Belvedere, that encourage a healthier lifestyle by placing services, workplaces and schools within walking distance, provide attractive and safe pedestrian paths, and create neighborhoods in a smarter, healthier, more sustainable manner.”

LEED for Neighborhood Development is a collaboration between the U.S. Green Building Council, the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The rating system will evaluate communities on criteria related to smart location and linkage to the community at large; neighborhood pattern and design; and green construction and technology. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a development's location and design meet accepted high standards for environmentally responsible, sustainable, development.

The pilot program is expected to conclude in 2008. Based on feedback gathered during the pilot, the rating system will be revised to improve its effectiveness and applicability to the marketplace. The revised rating system will then be balloted according to USGBC's consensus process and undergo approval by CNU and NRDC.

According to Cass Kawecki, Director of Sales and Marketing for Stonehaus, Belvedere’s Inter-Active Neighborhood will achieve its goals of sustainability, encouraging social interaction and supporting healthy lifestyles through features that include:


• Energy Star and EarthCraft certification for all homes,
• LEED*** certification for Civic Core, office buildings and overall neighborhood design,
• Stormwater management incorporating on-site biofiltration,
• Preserved areas that showcase native trees, plants, and flowers,
• Walkable destinations within the neighborhood,
• Low-flow plumbing fixtures and rainwater harvesting, and
• Infrastructure to support convenient recycling throughout the community.

Social Interaction

• Town Center with local shops within walking distance, an indoor/outdoor amphitheater for community events and local school and swimming/tennis facilities,
• Open space for recreation, including safe and convenient access for kids to trails, pocket parks, a dog park, and a village green,
• A formal and informal network of hiking and biking trails

Healthy Lifestyles

• An organic farm organized in accord with the Community-Supported-Agriculture (CSA) model,
• A broad range of programs that encourage wellness organized by the Belvedere Wellness Coordinator,
• Commitment to the arts, such as Art in Place and Saturdays after Seven (SAS) events,
• Healthy indoor air quality for all residences through high-performance mechanical ventilation, low-VOC and no-VOC finishes and adhesives, and flooring options that meet the American Lung Association Health House standards.

About the U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation's leading non-profit composed of corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations working together to transform the way buildings are designed, built and operated. Green buildings are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Since its founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 10,500 member companies and organizations, a 90-person professional staff, a broad portfolio of LEED® green building products and services, the industry's popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo ( and a network of over 70 local chapters, affiliates and organizing groups. For more information about the LEED for Neighborhood Development program, visit

About LEED

The LEED® Green Building Rating System is a voluntary third party rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. Projects are evaluated within six environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of green building certification are awarded based on the total credits earned. LEED has been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies as the industry standard of measurement for green building.

About Belvedere

Stonehaus is developing the first Inter-Active Neighborhood in Central Virginia. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, Belvedere applies its Inter-Active Neighborhood design and development platform to create a new kind of community reflecting three key components: creating a genuine sense of community that sustains social interaction, promotes healthy lifestyles and shows respect and a commitment to nature, sustainability and local history. For more information about Belvedere, visit

*ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

**EarthCraft is a green building program that serves as a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills and protect the environment. EarthCraft House is a partnership between the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, Southface, government and industry partners.

For more information contact:
Caroline March-Long
Stonehaus/Belvedere Development
434-295-5938 – office



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