green homes feature

Long Ridge Construction is in the process of building Orchard View — a new housing development in State College, which will include 36 green- and solar-friendly, semi-custom homes that allow residents to utilize solar paneling.

The construction process of this development also intends to be sustainable, as Long Ridge Construction said it will utilize natural materials to increase energy efficiency in every home, according to its website.

Steve Seltzer, project coordinator for Long Ridge Construction, said the new homes will be of higher quality than the average production home and will be built with higher-grade materials.

“All of our counters are quartz, and our floors are wood or ceramic or a better grade of carpeting than might be found in a production home,” Seltzer said. “Our kitchens are custom-designed and custom-built — they’re all wood cabinets.”

Seltzer said he believes there’s “not as many” houses in this price range, size and quality, and the homes are “higher quality” than what is “typically seen” in and around State College.

Not only will this development consist of high-quality aspects, but it will also include sustainable energy options by allowing residents to use solar paneling on their houses, according to a release.

In order to accomplish this green initiative, Long Ridge Construction partnered with Sun Directed — a full-service solar installation contracting company, which will install solar paneling on the Orchard View residences.


Jacob Mann, sales manager of Sun Directed, said Orchard View could be an example to the State College community of what’s possible in terms of green-friendliness in residential developments.

“I think that if Orchard View wants to take that step to be truly green and solar-friendly, [it] could be a great example to all new developments that are coming into the area that we can build homes that are energy-efficient, we can build homes that are set up for solar from day one,” Mann said.

Mann also said using solar paneling will have many environmental benefits for Orchard View residents and the State College community.

“You know your energy is coming directly from a clean source, [and] you're not adding any carbon into the atmosphere from your energy,” Mann said. “You can see a direct reduction in your personal carbon footprint just by putting solar [panels] on your roof.”

With the State College housing market experiencing an imbalanced supply and demand ratio, as Centre County currently has less than one month’s housing supply versus its typical five-month supply of housing, Vicki Wedler, realtor from Kissinger Bigatel & Brower Realtors, said Orchard View will provide a new housing option for the State College market.

“Orchard View is a welcome addition to our menu of options for our local market flooded with new buyers,” Wedler said via email. “The desirable location close to everything, the four models to choose from, the price point for the 36 available lots and their size make this a very exciting new option for our buyers.”

Green-friendly housing is also becoming more popular throughout the housing market nationwide, Wedler said, and Orchard View and green-friendly housing options are giving State College what buyers are interested in.

“Eco-friendly homes have gone mainstream — most people would trade in their swimming pools for Energy Star appliances and [compact fluorescent lamp] lighting,” Wedler said. “Now, in addition to hybrid cars, biodegradable packaging and recycling efforts, users are saying they are also increasingly eco-minded when it comes to their homes.”

Orchard View could be a step toward embracing solar-friendly housing in State College, according to Mann.

“I really truly believe that if Orchard View can take that step and be an example for the rest of the community… I could really see there being another mini solar boom in the State College area,” Mann said. “I think that would be really exciting for us as a community to lower our carbon footprint as a whole.”


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