C.P. Berry Homes builds green at new Topsfield communityBy Robin Ellington
After more than two years of planning and permitting, English Commons at Topsfield has taken root and is blossoming into one of the North Shore’s first green communities — truly a foundation for the future.
Practicing conservation, designers have integrated Low Impact Development (LID) concepts in the footprint design of English Commons at Topsfield, believed to be one of the first in the region.
“Typically surface runoff cycles into catch basins and drain pipes, flowing untreated directly into wetlands, but here we’re utilizing grass swales, rain gardens and bio-retention areas to remove pollutants and allow for recharging of groundwater sources,” said Alan Berry, P.E., vice president of C.P. Berry Homes. “Not only does the LID make sense for the environment, but the design result is more attractive and allows for the creation of more plant and wildlife habitat.”
Plantings include more native species and low-water-demand grasses. Orchard trees, original to the property, were saved and re-used, including the specimen trees along the front entrance roadway. Large areas of natural fields and meadows have been preserved and enhanced with the addition of natural fieldstone walls.
The homes at English Commons at Topsfield are Energy Star-qualified, meaning they use at least 15 percent less energy than standard homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC).
“Homes built in the 21st century are judged by how well they ‘perform’ for their owners,” Berry said. “The top two performance indicators are comfort and lower costs. A truly comfortable home is warm in the winter, cool in the summer, free from stuffiness and drafts, and quiet. At the same time, a home must be economical. Energy Star-qualified homes cost less to heat and cool than conventional new homes, which translates to savings every month and every year you own the home.”
Centrally located, English Commons at Topsfield is convenient for access to Boston, New Hampshire and Maine destinations, as well as local shopping, dining, medical facilities and varied cultural venues. Fifty of the community’s 68 acres have been preserved as open space. Across the street, the 454-acre Putnamville Reservoir, composed of the 312-acre reservoir and 142 acres of protected watershed land, is open for walking, hiking and fishing. Non-motorized boating is allowed in the reservoir. Conveniently located near Interstate 95 and routes 1 and 128, the location is as ideal as the community’s surroundings.
Visit English Commons at Topsfield to see for yourself how a green community works. The Sales Center and model homes are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Look for the granite sign carved with the English Commons at Topsfield horse and carriage logo. Tours also are available after hours by appointment. For directions or information, see CPBerryHomes.com or call Realtor Mark O’Hara at C.P. Berry Homes, 978-887-3888.
(Source: The Salem News)