Greening the Village
Green building materials and techniques
Building "green" includes design and construction techniques that reduce short and long-term impacts on the environment. Green building also benefits the homeowner environmentally and financially with improved indoor air quality and lower energy and maintenance costs.
Green site planning and site development preserves the natural environment while reducing erosion, minimizing paved surfaces and protecting vegetation.
Water conservation is practiced both indoors and outdoors. Indoor techniques include water conserving toilets, faucets and appliances. Outdoors, turf grass for lawns will be utilized in limited areas, and the majority of landscaping will consist of existing native prairie and additional drought resistant native plants resulting in an all around less thirsty landscape.
Green building provides many choices in heating/cooling systems, lighting, appliances and other items designed for energy efficiency.
Indoor air quality can be improved with hard surface flooring, low VOC cabinetry, low VOC paint, and improved air filtration systems.
Designing and building highly energy efficient homes is a major priority at Bear Creek Prairie. With careful attention to solar orientation, insulation, framing techniques, windows, doors, caulking, and HVAC efficiency, village homes will easily outperform other similarly sized homes.
Homes will be built with special attention to passive solar technology for added comfort and energy efficiency.
The Bear Creek Prairie storm water management system will include a reduction in impervious surfaces (e.g., narrow streets etc.) and utilization of green spaces to manage storm water in a "treatment train" fashion. Rainfall will be treated at the source using specially designed landscaped areas called rain gardens that capture, filter, and infiltrate the stormwater on-site. These features will combine to effectively remove urban storm water pollutants, manage volume and decrease rate of flow.
The vision for Bear Creek Prairie includes the permanent protection as open space of roughly half of the site. Preserved will be approximately seven acres of native Missouri woodland plus one acre of remnant Missouri prairie. A natural resource inventory revealed over eighty native plant and tree species in the protected area.
To ensure that these protected areas will be prohibited from future development, we are seeking to place them into a "conservation easement" administered by a local non-profit land trust. Such an arrangement would ensure that these areas would be permanently protected.
Prairie restoration has begun with the clearing of encroaching cedars and controlled burns in the fall of 2005. The results are already evident with an increase in wildflowers and native grasses. Dragonflies, bumblebees, and many species of butterflies are regular visitors to the summer bonanza of blooms.