North Carolina’s First 100 Percent Net Zero Energy Neighborhood: A Conversation With Jodi Bakst

This blog was originally posted by on January 22, 2021.

Just 10 minutes west of downtown Carrboro, the first fully sustainable green neighborhood in North Carolina is taking shape. Array Sustainable Living, a project founded by Jodi Bakst, aims to be the first net-zero, completely green and sustainable neighborhood in our state.

“Net zero energy homes, they produce as much energy as they use. These homes are far more efficient than what we call a standard code-built home,” said Bakst. “… Environmental sustainability is built into every aspect of a net zero energy home, from how the house is positioned on the lot to — just to name a few [things] — the insulation, the wall systems and the overall tightness of the house.”

According to the US Department of Energy, buildings consume roughly 40 percent of the nation’s energy and 25 percent of fresh water resources. As interest grows in higher-efficiency living and reduction of overall footprint, neighborhoods like Array have a promising future in meeting the desires and needs of future homeowners.

“The inspiration, actually part of it was the land itself. It’s just so beautiful and it’s a gorgeous 60 acre parcel, and there’s a beautiful pond and there’s streams and it’s just, you want to protect it — and you want to protect it in the best way possible,” said Bakst. “So, having the houses have the least impact that they can plus retaining 56 percent of the neighborhood in kind of dedicated natural natural open space, if you will. And there are wetlands on the property also when they will be protected and managed and monitored by Orange County. So it’s really about protecting the environment and doing what we can to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Listen to the full conversation between Jodi Bakst and 97.9 The Hill’s Brighton McConnell here.

Jodi Bakst and Cor Rademaker