Sunday, May 17, 2009

Community Outreach

I've written previously how much we're looking forward to moving to the City of Falls Church. Arlington, where we live now is great, and I've loved living here the past twelve years, yet there's something different about Falls Church that makes it feel more small town, more "homey," more connected from a community perspective. That was proven to us again today when we attended the City's Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) meeting.

VPIS works to preserve the City's natural and built environment, historic structures and landmarks, and promotes cultural activities. The topic of today's agenda was green construction. Patty Shields, sole proprietor of Metro Green, a local green construction & renovation firm, spoke about her new construction house located in the Westover neighborhood of Arlington, VA. This house, just last week, was awarded LEED Platinum. It is the first residence to gain that certification in the Mid-Atlantic area. (The home currently is on the market for $1.195 Million. We toured it during an open house a few weeks ago - it's quite nice and, if I lived there, I'd spend most of my time on the top level enjoying the green roof!) Doug Fraser, the building official for the City of Falls Church, spoke on the City's new green home program, from which our house is pursuing recognition (in addition to the EarthCraft House Virginia program). Doug asked Andreas and I to attend the meeting and give an overview of our house, which we were happy to do. I was impressed with how many people were attending this meeting on a Spring Sunday afternoon, but even more so with the passion exhibited by these VPIS members for their city (...our city) and their genuine interest in learning about green construction.  They asked some great questions and we were happy to share what we've learned along the way. It also was fun to meet some of the folks who have been following this blog (thanks!) and also some new neighbors over off of Lincoln Avenue. It was an enjoyable afternoon.

Also, today, we spent some time cleaning at the lot, giving the shop vac a good workout upstairs while Andreas pulled some nails out of perfectly good (reusable) board the framers had thrown on a scrap pile. Even though we'll be recycling any leftover scraps, we don't want to waste what we can reuse ourselves.