Hear from Steve Nygren, founder of the Serenbe community in central Georgia, and the director of operations, Garnie Nygren, as they describe whats makes Serenbe so eco-friendly and unique. (Video by Hibbotte)


Steve: Our entire community has been certified as an EarthCraft Community.

Garnie: What EarthCraft is, is Southface, an organization out of Atlanta, helped to create EarthCraft, which is the Southeast Environmental Certification for residential houses. And so, as a house is being built, there are certain points that builders can achieve, from the insulation they use to how they zone the house with heating and air, airflow circulation. So EarthCraft comes in when the house is almost done to do an air test to make sure that air is flowing evenly throughout the house so you have the highest energy efficiency possible. Our residents, once they move into their houses, see anywhere from a 20 to 40 percent reduction in the energy they use to heat and cool and run the house.

Garnie: Behind me is the Blue Eyed Daisy. The Blue Eyed Daisy is Silver - has its Silver LEED certification, and it is actually the smallest Silver LEED-certified building in the United States. LEED is probably the most well-known program for commercial and again, is a series of points. So with the Blue Eyed Daisy, you’ll see all of the brick on the outside of the building is reclaimed from an old building. The floor, the ceiling, there’s a shower in one of the bathrooms so that employees can take showers before work if they… if they bike to work. So a whole variety of things where the Blue Eyed Daisy achieved its Silver LEED certification.

Garnie: And it goes so far as our wastewater treatment is all environmental. It’s constructed wetlands and sand filters. The way we handle storm water is through bioretention rather than these holding ponds that you see with chain links around them around the country. So in every aspect we’ve looked at how best develop environmentally and in relationship to nature rather than imposing what we’re doing on nature.