Star of the Agrihood

This Asheville, N.C., project covers the checklist (and more) when it comes to sustainable attributes.

What makes a perfectly green house? If you’re Red Tree Builders, it’s the project known as “River Run.”

HOTY-2024-logoFProject Stats

Name: River Run, Asheville, North Carolina

Builder: Brandon Bryant, Red Tree Builders

Developer: Elliott Nailen, Olivette 

Photographer: Darrell Cassell, Darrell Cassell Photography; Red Tree Builders

According to Brandon Bryant, Red Tree’s president and owner, this home in Asheville, N.C. is “a testament to harmonious living with nature.” Positioned along the tranquil riverbanks near the charming agrihood community of Olivette, it offers not only a place to call home but also a gateway to a lifestyle that celebrates the great outdoors. River Run DJI_0509

It wasn’t an easy build. Bryant notes that the project—Green Builder’s Green Home of the Year in the Mainstream Green category—broke ground during the height of the pandemic in 2021. The timing resulted in many challenges, including material delays, labor shortages, and price fluctuations. 

“We learned to be adaptable and overcome unexpected obstacles within the building industry,” he says. “Our clients were fantastic to work with—they were very flexible and understanding throughout the entire build process.”

The result was a custom build for a client wanting a beautifully designed home that was energy efficient, one that “exemplifies a commitment to sustainable living.” 

Sustainable Attributes Galore

Strategically positioned solar panels harness the power of the sun, generating clean energy that not only reduces the property’s environmental footprint but also contributes to lower energy bills. 

Meanwhile, an efficient geothermal heating and cooling system ensures year-round comfort, utilizing the earth’s natural energy to maintain an ideal indoor climate without reliance on fossil fuels. This home received a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index score of minus 8.

The exterior of the home is a testament to thoughtful design. Adorned with tasteful natural wood siding, it blends seamlessly with the idyllic surroundings, “reflecting the spirit of the agrihood community that values the preservation of nature,” Bryant says. 

River Run_Main Level Floor Plan CROPPED

River Run_Lower Level Floor Plan CROPPED

Green Living Is Assured

The home has been meticulously planned to minimize its environmental impact, making efficient use of space while maximizing the interior living areas, Bryant adds. Every square foot is thoughtfully considered, ensuring that residents have ample room to enjoy the comforts of home while leaving a light footprint on the Earth.

“Residents here enjoy the privilege of easy access to an array of walking trails that wind through the pristine surroundings, inviting leisurely strolls amidst the beauty of the landscape,” Bryant notes. “The soothing presence of the nearby French Broad River offers opportunities for boating or simply savoring the peaceful sounds of gently flowing water, creating a serene escape just steps from your doorstep.”

In addition to these natural wonders, residents have the distinct advantage of a community garden, an oasis where they can cultivate their green thumbs and connect with their neighbors. “This shared garden space fosters a sense of community and encourages a deeper connection with the land, as residents come together to nurture the earth and share in the joys of harvesting fresh produce,” Bryant says.

“In essence, this residence in Olivette embodies a harmonious and sustainable way of life, seamlessly integrating with the beauty of the agrihood community and its natural surroundings,” Bryant says. “It offers not just a house but a lifestyle that cherishes the environment, encourages community engagement, and prioritizes the well-being of its residents in a setting where nature’s wonders are cherished and celebrated every day.”  

River Run_2 - Solar

Renewable energy sources include a solar array with photovoltaic panels and a SolarEdge residential inverter.

River Run_7 - Deck

Decking is made of Trex Enhance Basic composite board, a high-performance product that is fade-, stain-, scratch- and mold-resistant.

River Run_6 - Windows

Natural lighting keeps energy needs at a minimum on sunny days—and emphasizes the area’s natural beauty.

River Run_4 - kitchen

Kitchen countertops made of naturally developed quartzite provide a striking and durable surface that can be easily cleaned with a wet cloth instead of chemicals.

Key Components

Appliances: Bosch refrigerator, Café Range dishwasher and microwave, GE washer and dryer

Building Envelope: Pine lap board and batt sizing, ZIP System sheathing, Icynene spray foam insulation, gypsum board, air sealing with liquid ZIP. Sealed crawlspace, cast-in-place walls 

Cabinets, Shelves, Millwork: Wellborn Forest cabinets. Millwork and shelves—primed pine

Caulks and Sealants: Liquid ZIP, liquid flash, DAP caulk

Countertops: Kitchen island and master bath: Fusion quartzite; Kitchen perimeter, laundry, and lower-level bath: granite; Powder bath: quartz

Decks: Trex Enhance Basics composite

Doors and Hardware: Schlage door hardware

Electrical: Builders lighting, 100 percent LED, Kichler (lighting), Capital Lighting Innovations, and Minka

Exterior Finishes: Pine

Flooring: LVP Karndean, Crossville Tile

Home Controls: Programmable, touch screen, Wi-Fi/smart thermostat. 

HVAC/Ducts: Two-speed Bosch geothermal 

Insulation: Open cell spray foam, fiber glass batts, foundation walls R-11, above-grade walls R-19, ceiling R-26

Landscaping: Native plantings, natural hardscapes

Lighting: 100 percent LED

Paints and Stains: Sherwin-Williams and PPG, 0 VOC

Plumbing/Plumbing Fixtures: Kohler, Pro Flo, Delta, American Standard, Jaclo, Signature Hardware and Elkay

Renewable Energy Systems (solar, wind, etc.): Solar photovoltaic panels, Silfab solar panels and SolarEdge inverter; Electric vehicle charger – 50 amp 240-volt outlet; ENERGY STAR-certified appliances and fans; 9.5 kilowatt solar array, Hanwha 340-watt system

Roof: Standing Seam metal roof from Best Buy Metals

Ventilation: Broan ERV, Panasonic WhisperGreen bath fans vented to the exterior; Castlewood whole home media air cleaner

Water Heating: Rheem heat pump water heater

Windows, Skylights, Patio Doors: Lincoln aluminum clad, Rouge Valley entry door, Masonite fiberglass entry side door, Window U value 0.29

Other: Indoor airPlus Certified, Energy Star certified, DOE Zero Energy Ready Certified, HERS minus 8; annual savings (relative to an average U.S. home) $3,078

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