Building Green

Building Green
EMAIL USSTOP BY MON-FRI 9AM-5PM, SAT 10AM-4PM OR CALL 919.542.4000 OR 800.277.0130
EMAIL USSTOP BY MON-FRI 9AM-5PM, SAT 10AM-4PM OR CALL 919.542.4000 OR 800.277.0130

When we began Fearrington in 1974, minimizing its environmental impact was forefront in our minds. The energy crisis of that time had forced Americans to make changes in how they lived, and being on the outskirts of a progressive college town (that’s Chapel Hill, NC), we saw an opportunity to develop a community different from the norm.

Today, these standard green construction practices occur in all new homes:

  • EPA ENERGY STAR® entry doors
  • EPA ENERGY STAR® dishwasher
  • EPA ENERGY STAR® bath & ceiling fans
  • Termite bait system that does not deposit chemicals into the ground
  • Engineered floor and roof trusses (meaning no lumber is wasted)
  • Cardboard is recycled from jobsite
  • Recycled block used for the home’s foundation
  • Water Sense sink faucets
  • UltraCraft Cabinetry, a NC based company that is ESP (Environmental Stewardship Program) certified.

There are many more options that we offer to make it a green home, from Icynene insulation to earth-friendly flooring.  The options are endless and growing all the time. We’re happy to incorporate green building options into your home!

When clearing the site for a home, we leave natural vegetation on site unless necessary for building the home, sanitation, safety or egress. Many homeowners of larger wooded lots choose not to have lawns.

RB in front of a Fearrington home in 1981, after earning Professional Builder magazine’s Energy Conservation award

From the beginning, we’ve utilized energy-efficient and environmentally friendly development practices. Homes were sited and designed to take advantage of passive solar energy. They were modestly sized, had low maintenance siding, and incorporated energy saving methods considered standard today, such as double paned windows, extra insulation, attic ventilation, multiple heating and cooling zones and even fireplace covers.

Roads were designed to cross streams as infrequently as possible and run with land contours to minimize the need for clearing and grading. Road widths were narrow to minimize their impact (and reduce traffic speed) and we created miles of walking paths to encourage exercise and provide an alternative to the car for short trips.

Camden Park, a New Urbanism pioneer, in 2001

Several years ago we completed Camden Park, a higher density, single-family neighborhood located immediately adjacent to the Village Center. The neighborhood was built on previously cleared farmland and several original stands of mature oaks remained. They were preserved and incorporated into five parks.

The Village Center also showcases our environmental principles. The surrounding pastures and open space have been largely preserved. Onsite greenhouses and gardens grow many of the plants used in our outdoor spaces, for floral arrangements, and in restaurant dishes. Gardeners in the Village practice organic gardening and use drought-tolerant, disease-resistant plants. And we’ve hosted the Fearrington Farmers Market, bringing fresh, local produce to area residents, for over 20 years.


In 2007 we launched our Energy Star program, and today nearly 85 percent of homes we build are ENERGY STAR® qualified, significantly above the national and state average.

To earn the ENERGY STAR® certification, a home must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30% more efficient than a typical new home.

ENERGY STAR® certified homes have the following features:

  • More effective insulation
  • Higher-performance windows
  • Tighter construction and ducts
  • More efficient heating and cooling equipment
  • Third-party testing

For more information, visit the website of ENERGY STAR® Homes and click on “New Homes.”