Recently, High-Profile sat down with Barry Gaw of Squam River Landing and Sippican Partners, LLC to discuss sustainability from a personal to a professional standpoint.
HP: With a long career in real estate and development throughout New England, what sparked your interest in building a sustainable community in New Hampshire’s Lakes region?
BG: Growing up, my family had a summer camp on Big Squam Lake with many great memories built here. As I grew professionally, my career advanced developing real estate projects of many types throughout New England and New York City. In the early 2000s I built a house in neighboring Holderness, N.H. with one of the best friends a person could ever have. Before he passed away, he helped teach me the importance of family and having a rewarding home-life outside of work. I left a project in New York and moved to the lake. I never intended to stay here or work here. Years later, our company is focused on developing real estate projects that benefit people and place, socially, environmentally, and economically.
HP: Sustainability is a popular topic these days. How is Squam River Landing different from other residential projects in the area and region?
BG: Squam River Landing provides energy-efficient housing options for the many generations of Squam Lake families who have been, or are now being, priced off the lakefront. Through its affiliate and social center, RiverEdge Marina, we employ 16 to 20 people and service over 1,100 clients.
We are also an active member of the greater community, involved with adaptive sports, kids at risk programs, conservation groups, economic development, and local community revitalization.
From an economic standpoint, the project will increase the town of Ashland’s assessed value by over 20% when fully built-out, and significantly increase property tax collections. We will also create or preserve 20 permanent jobs by allowing RiverEdge Marina to maintain and expand its workforce while creating over 5,000 short-term development and construction jobs.
Environmentally, the master plan combines elements of a cluster plan within a conservation development, balancing built density with preserved land. The development is located on buildable areas of the land, with the surrounding land dedicated to open space. By condensing buildable area, on a site where water and sewer is available, overall land sprawl is mitigated. The community covenants will manage the health and selective clearing of the woodlands and the development alleviates the impact of storm water runoff caused by logging in the 1990s. Additionally, Design Review Covenants manage site development, architecture, view corridors, and wildlife paths.
All home design and construction methods are Energy Star compliant; LEED and NAHB Green eligible, and ‘sensible green’ — managing costs and benefits for land and end user.
Designs are energy-efficient, conserve water usage, and use local resources.
HP: What are some of the key green components or practices of the Squam River Landing project that contribute to the overall sustainability and active lifestyle at the community?
BG: In designing the land plan, we started by surveying all of the key natural features, slopes, rock ledges, specimen trees, view corridors, wildlife paths — then we began to lay out areas that could accept homes while minimizing the disturbance to the land. Once we identified the home sites, we then designed the road system and overall land plan.
The size of a home, and the design-construction of its building envelope matter more than all of the green components combined. We use higher ceilings, larger windows strategically placed, and open floor plans. We insulate the exterior envelope from the top of the ridge to underneath the basement slab.
After these primary objectives are settled, all of the other green components are additive, including geothermal heating and cooling systems, reclaimed materials, and locally sourced products.
HP: How do your sustainable building practices contribute into the overall conservation mindset of the greater Squam Lakes region?
BG: We are working to be leaders in our community to help teach, lead, guide, and educate others how to design, build, and live in ways that cost less, use less, and give back. Our goal is to re-use an area’s attributes, rather than dismantle them.
HP: With increased interest in your community, do you see Squam River Landing as part of a larger national trend towards right-sized homes and sustainable living?
BG: Very much so. Our lead activity is coming from all over the country. Some of the common threads are people searching for quality-of-life places to live where their family and friends can come together. We have strong interest from those who may rent in the city and buy a home here, telecommuters, people selling the big home in the suburbs and buying two smaller homes, and those leaving the high-stress job in the city to start their own home-based consulting business.
About Squam River Landing
Squam River Landing is a thoughtfully planned community of sustainable homes carefully crafted and inspired by the heritage of the Squam Lakes. The architecture of these homes reflects lakeshore camps of days past, while using today’s sustainable design features. These homes will use less energy, less water and natural resources, reduce waste of resources, while creating a healthier, comforting home and less impact of the environment.
The project includes access to Squam Lake through Riverdge Marina, where families and friends come together to enjoy all the lake has to offer. The property is located in the heart of New Hampshire’s lake region and at the foothills of the White Mountains. The property offers expansive views of Little Squam Lake, the Squam River, and several mountain ranges.
Learn more at www.squamlanding.com
About Sippican Partners Construction
Sippican Partners Construction, LLC staff includes LEED AP and NAHB Certified Green Professionals to help clients balance their needs, desires, and budget with the right level of green building to provide them with an efficient, sustainable, comfortable home they can afford.
As a preferred builder at Squam River Landing, Sippican Construction is proud to be an integral part of a development that recently won awards from the International Property Awards in two categories: Leisure Development and Mixed Use Development.
Learn more at www.sippicanpartners.com