Here’s a fact that might surprise you. “Nearly 80% of people who have remodeled or built an outdoor patio space have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home.” This is according to a 2018 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). For residents of MorningStar, a master-planned community, located just north of Austin in Georgetown, this makes complete sense. It’s part of the reason they moved there in the first place.
With immaculately tended common areas and amenities, breath-taking Hill Country sunsets, and a warm neighborhood vibe, MorningStar has become one of the most popular spots in the hottest metro area on the planet – Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown.
Sustainability In Outdoor Spaces Is the New Must-Have
Using locally-sourced, eco-friendly materials and plants, and designing outdoor spaces such as patios and yards with a natural resource-saving mindset – in other words, with sustainability – can save a ton of money on water and utilities. It can also make the outdoor “room” drop-dead gorgeous.
Here are some tips from the preeminent “green” design journal, Green Building & Design (gb&d).
Use LOTS of Plants
The experts in this journal note that many plants are low-maintenance and low-cost. These include English Ivy, Bamboo Palm, and Weeping Fig. “Incorporating native plants in and around an outdoor patio will provide even more benefits, like promoting biodiversity and erosion prevention, there is also no need to fertilize native plants.
Regarding using plants in outdoor patio design, features can range from incorporating a green wall to doing some traditional gardening. One simple way to add variety to an outdoor space is to use potted plants. “Choosing the right planter can elevate the aesthetic of an outdoor patio and provide an opportunity to use recycled materials.”
A Ring of Fire
Johnny Cash was right. There’s nothing much more intoxicating than a ring of fire.
The editors of gb&d note that “Fire pits are among the most popular additions to outdoor patios. Adding a fire pit also improves homeowners’ happiness, as consumers gave a fire feature addition a perfect 10 on the Joy Score from NAR’s 2018 Remodeling Impact Report. Gas fire features are an ideal example of an addition that is easy to install and use while providing a space to gather outdoors.”
“When it comes to sustainability, the benefits of gas features versus wood are significant, as natural gas and propane are clean-burning and smoke-free.”
Always Pedal the Recycle
The granddaddy of sustainability is recycling and giving previously-used materials a new life on the patio and yard checks all the boxes.
“Sustainable materials can range from aluminum fencing and railing to composite decking, and more. Stainless steel cable railing is a popular choice for outdoor spaces because it’s resistant to corrosion, easy to clean, and works well to complement many other materials.”
Don’t Forget to Hit the Deck
Outdoor design specialists note that nearly 50% of consumers add decks to their outdoor spaces to improve livability. The second most common reason is to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials.
According to gb&d, “When it comes to creating a sustainable deck for your outdoor space, composite decking offers several benefits—including sustainability. Composite decking is considered to be green because it allows for the use of post-industrial and post-consumer recycled materials on the open market. Composite decking also gives the look of hardwood without the maintenance and with added durability, and it’s typically made up of two or more nonmetallic materials. These materials are fused together to form the structure of the deck board with the most common being capped wood-plastic and capped-polymer decking.”
Life in the Great Outdoors
Master-planned communities such as MorningStar have fundamentally changed the paradigm of suburban living. The community is designed AROUND the beautiful Hill Country terrain, so the vistas are spectacular from every backyard. Adding a sustainable outdoor entertainment space to this mix can only be described with one word: Perfecto!
Come take a look at MorningStar. There are not many spaces left, so you might want to visit this weekend.