Home Builders Win 2008 Tree Awards

Two builder-developers were honored with the 2008 Building With Trees Awards of Excellence at the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) National Green Building Conference in New Orleans.

Northland Residential Corp. of Burlington, Mass., and Parker Development Co. of El Dorado Hills, Calif., are this year's recipients in the awards program, a joint project of NAHB and the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Building With Trees honors builders and developers who demonstrate exemplary conservation practices on their projects, specifically by protecting and saving existing trees.

"Tree conservation is something that our industry takes very seriously. These two companies' winning projects are excellent examples of environmental stewardship, an important component of our association's green initiatives – especially the NAHB National Green Building Program," said Sandy Dunn, NAHB president and a home builder from Point Pleasant, W. Va.

A jury of developers and urban forestry professionals selected the winners based on the projects' creativity and attention to detail. Winners were honored for taking an inventory of the trees to be protected during planning, design, and construction; planting additional trees and providing for long-term tree care; demonstrating a commitment to tree protection by including a certified tree-care professional on the development team; and adhering to tree protection goals throughout the construction process.

The winning projects are:

Residential development, 100-500 lots: The Woodlands at Belmont Hill, developed by Northland Residential Corp. This 121-home neighborhood is on a site that once served as a psychiatric facility. The project incorporated existing historical structures into a condominium conversion and added new town homes in this established city next to Cambridge, Mass. Judges noted its successful preservation and relocation of more than 900 existing trees and the exemplary efforts taken to address any concerns expressed by nearby residents.

Residential development, 501 lots or more: The Parkway, developed by Parker Development Co. This 612-acre master-planned community in Folsom, Calif., includes upscale single-family homes and entry-level condominiums. About 240 acres are dedicated to open space, preserving and enhancing majestic oak woodlands, cottonwood forests, tree-lined trails, and seasonal wetlands. Judges noted that the development was once the site of mining and heavy agriculture and that the developers restored damaged wetlands to form a central park, fully integrating the residents' experience with the community's natural features.

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