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Chatham Park Implements ecoSelect® Plus into Its New Community of Homes


As Chatham Park furthers its plans for expansion in Pittsboro, North Carolina, the quality standards remain a high priority for the development team. One area of focus is clean technology. Chatham Park seeks to attract people and businesses who are committed to conserving resources and gaining a cleaner, greener lifestyle.  To help accomplish this, Chatham Park has partnered with Southern Energy Management to ensure the best quality of its homes by implementing ecoSelect® Plus, a program that focuses on increasing energy efficiency, provides support, and assures quality control and consumer confidence.

Southern Energy Management, a six-time Energy Star Partner of the Year, is on a mission to improve the way people make and use energy. The company is committed to high-performance utilities and building methods through the ecoSelect® program.

What makes ecoSelect® Plus stand apart from ecoSelect®? Chatham Park’s ecoSelect® Plus, developed by Southern Energy Management, is a customized version of the ecoSelect® program that has extra requirements specific to Chatham Park. 

Southern Energy Management explained several components of the ecoSelect® certification process: 

  • Quality assurance from third party inspections
  • High-performance building envelope that allows the insulation to better keep in heat during the winter and out during the warmer months
  • Programmable thermostats to keep buyers comfortable remotely
  • Energy-efficient lighting that provides 75%-80% energy saving and longer life than traditional lightbulbs
  • High-efficiency HVAC units that are tested after installation to ensure quiet and efficient operation
  • Reduced water usage from ecoSelect® fixtures that save water without sacrificing performance
  • Solar evaluation that helps the buyer take his or her next steps toward energy independence
  • Fresh air ventilation that removes stale air and introduces new air through a controlled system

Once a home has been tested by a Southern Energy Management energy rater and has completed the certification process, the home will receive a performance label including the energy efficiency features, the average estimated monthly energy cost, and The HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index.  

“The HERS index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. It’s also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance,” according to RESNET. 

A low HERS Index score assures your home is using less energy and is more affordable.   To date, the homes constructed at Chatham Park are 34% more energy efficient than code homes because of the ecoSelectÆ Plus program implemented.

Another benefit to the ecoSelectÆ program is that it helps ensure the builders can participate in local initiatives with Duke Energy Progress such as DEP HERO.  These efforts raise the standards even more with regards to addressing water efficiency and indoor air quality of the home. 

As Southern Energy Management seeks to improve its customer satisfaction, changes are regularly made to the ecoSelect® program. Changes to the ecoSelect® program within the last year include advanced framing and insulated corners, lowered duct leakage maximum, simplified Energy Star appliance requirement, and efficient lighting requirement increase.

The many elements of the ecoSelect® Plus program are significant draws to Chatham Park homes. A one-page qualification checklist and minimum administrative work required by homebuilders give buyers peace of mind, as well as confidence in the high-quality safety standards of their Chatham Park home.  To show the overall impact of this program at Chatham Park, neighborhood results including the average community HERS index score and the average household savings, will be measured and shared on a regular basis.  

While Chatham Park advances in its plans for home development, Southern Energy Management is giving the homes of Chatham Park a refined quality standard that will leave buyers craving an ecoSelect® Plus certified home.

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Garman Homes Breaks Ground on America At Home Study Concept Home

After months of planning and research, Garman Homes – a member of the builder team in Chatham Park, Pittsboro, NC – is breaking ground on a new concept home created as a result of the America At Home Study. This national survey of adults ages 25-74 with annual household incomes of $50,000 or more, was conducted in two waves during the pandemic to gain a better understanding of all that new home and community design requires in a post-pandemic world. Insights from 7,000 participating consumers culminated in this original floor plan, named “No Little Plans –Barnaby,” that will debut in Chatham Park later this year.

When the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down in 2020, economists began introducing theories and projections about the pandemic’s economic effects on society. The medical field researched the toll these changes would take on mental health including suicide and depression rates. However, the way Americans feel about their homes and community in this “new normal” and how it would change the way Americans view and feel about their home received little attention. Lifestyles had changed overnight as jobs and educational efforts went virtual, converting spaces in the home into offices and classrooms. Entertaining areas were transformed into meccas for board games, craft projects, and newly discovered hobbies. And outdoor living became safe havens to enjoy some fresh air and a little nature. Three women leaders in the home building industry Belinda Sward, Nancy Keenan, and Teri Slavik-Tsuyuki took the initiative to explore these changes through the America At Home Survey. They then invited Alaina Money-Garman, founder and CEO of Garman Homes, and set out to design and now build a concept home in Chatham Park. 

“Inspired by consumer insights from the America At Home Study, the concept home is believed to be the first home intentionally designed in response to the radical changes spurred by the pandemic. Special attention was paid to the entries of the home – both for owners and guests because they need to perform differently, and to the functionality and natural light in the kitchen. The home includes two separate office spaces, neither one simply a re-purposed bedroom. There is a guest suite and two covered outdoor spaces for safe social gathering. This home is the collective effort of the founders of the study and Dahlin Group Architecture Planning (architect), Garman Homes (builder), and Cecilian Partners (digital customer experience).” – AmericaatHomeStudy.com 

The America At Home concept home, “No Little Plans – Barnaby” is part of Garman’s new NONFICTION brand that features the Quotables Collection. This collection includes four floor plans and can be expected for presentation this year in Vineyards at Chatham Park.

“Chatham Park is honored to feature the concept home for the America At Home Study,” said Executive Vice President of Preston Development Vanessa Jenkins. “Our community vision is to showcase homes that consider how we live now and, in the future, rather than what our standards have been in the past. We could not think of a better example than the Barnaby concept home from Garman homes.” 

Chatham Park’s dedication and commitment to research, technology, and well-rounded living – shown in their five pillars: Innovation, Connectivity, Quality Design, Wellness, and Stewardship – are exemplified by Garman’s involvement in the America At Home Study. As Chatham Park works with Garman Homes to develop America At Home-inspired houses, the community continues to aspire to create spaces where people look forward to live, work, play, shop and dine at home, or within minutes of home.