A Cut Above the Rest ~ Quality | HillSide at O'Brien Farm
HillSide at O'Brien Farm

A Cut Above the Rest ~ Quality

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Hillside at O’Brien Farm Exceeds Green Building Requirements – Making New Construction Make (Dollars and) Sense!

Vermont has long been recognized as a “green” state and ahead of many when it comes to energy efficiency efforts. Legislation has been behind some of that and in 2020 was extended to new residential construction. However, for forward thinking developers like O’Brien Brothers, the rules provide a base to expand upon to a fully integrated efficiency standard, exemplifying best practices in the construction of new neighborhoods and homes, like at Hillside at O’Brien Farm in South Burlington.



O’Brien Brothers began thinking about environmental responsibility from the onset of creating this efficiently sited and planned neighborhood located on South Burlington’s bike path and within walking distance to public transportation and services. Every home site was carefully considered to reduce its impact on the environment. Throughout the construction of the 115 home sites in the first phase, 80% of construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled, 34% of which is used at the McNeal Power Plant to help power the City of Burlington. Even the design and narrow width of the neighborhood streets with integrated sidewalks, reduces the amount of impervious surfaces thereby reducing stormwater runoff and erosion as well as the amount of solar heat generated by paved surfaces. The base material for roads, recreation paths, sidewalks and foundations are almost all generated from unearthed stone crushed on-site, thus avoiding approximately 95 tons of CO2 emissions from trucking in gravel from a separate location, as well as reducing congestion, and wear and tear on local surface streets from reduced hauling

With nearly 80% of the development sold, under binding contract or reservation, Hillside homeowners are benefiting from the intentional design of the neighborhood and energy efficiency of their single-family home or townhome. “Since August 2020, all homes built at Hillside are enrolled in and certified to the Efficiency Vermont 2.0 certification,“ says Evan Langfeldt, CEO of O’Brien Brothers. “This is well above the required energy code in Vermont, or the stretch code required in some communities. It’s a significant value to our homeowners, and it is aligned with our values as a company in terms of doing right by our customers and by our community.”

Since implementing these standards, Efficiency Vermont has certified 13 homes at Hillside at O’Brien Farm. According to the National Association of Home Builders the average new construction home in 2020 achieved a home energy rating system (HERS) score of 58, which was 46% more efficient than the average home built in 2006 and 72% more efficient than an average home built in the 1970s.  The most recent home at Hillside scored 41.7, nearly 30% more efficient than the national average for new construction. But what does that mean in dollars and sense? A homeowner of a 2,000sf, 2-story, 3-bedroom home can expect an estimated energy cost of just $2,138 annually including heat, hot water, electric, and central air.

Hillside at O’Brien Farm is a development of O’Brien Brothers, a premier provider of commercial and residential properties throughout Chittenden County since 1958. For more information on their Building Green standards, go to www.hillsideatobrienfarm.com/building-green-at-hillside