Editor: When planning new construction, developers are very cost sensitive. They want to provide what people want, but at the lowest possible cost.
Last week’s article, “Commission Presses for Two-Over-Two Standards,” discusses the trend in two-over-two residential units, or stacked townhouses and standards that the Leesburg Planning Commission is considering.
For those who know me, it is not a surprise for me to write about energy and environmental matters. Almost everything I do is and has been about those matters. Striving for the best in energy and environment in our governments is hard work and often is opposed by those with competing financial interests. But here is a chance for the Town of Leesburg to make a difference.
In planning for accommodating more homes, planners and developers would win my heart more if they were to plan for the most energy efficient homes. And that would involve homes that can use water-cooled heat pumps. Besides very high energy efficiency, they don’t require the outside condenser. Therefore, they are much quieter than the more common air-cooled heat pumps. And just as with all heat pumps, there is no requirement for a boiler or furnace.
To sum it up, water-cooled heat pumps are less expensive to operate, very environmentally friendly, and very quiet. And can be planned into the two-over-twos.
So, Leesburg Planning Commission and Town Council, consider ways to reward developers that use of water-cooled heat pumps in construction. Those future residents definitely will be rewarded with lower utility bills.
Kevin Chisholm, Leesburg