Vineyard Oaks Helps Yountville Become Greenest City in the Napa Valley

Posted by Elizabeth Olcott — October 17, 2011

1318899475Named for the eight heritage oaks the Knight family painstakingly preserved and incorporated into their design plans, the Vineyard Oaks Homes development is poised to usher in a new level of green living in the town of Yountville. Moving forward under the banner of “Luxury and Green Living – The Perfect Blend,” the Knight family and Napa’s Healthy Buildings broke ground this month on the first registered LEED® for Homes and Net Zero electric solar homes development in the North Bay. Yountville now has two LEED certified projects: the Bardessono, a LEED Platinum hotel, and Yountville’s LEED Gold Community Center. “It’s very exciting to be a part of a project that’s building elegant and luxurious homes with the latest green technology,” said Elizabeth Olcott, of Olcott Real Estate, who added, “It’s been fun to watch this project evolve.”

Twelve semi-custom craftsman-style homes will showcase the environmentally conscious design and construction expertise of Napa’s own Healthy Buildings, a sustainable design-build firm specializing in green building since 1999. While Healthy Buildings architects designed first for aesthetics, comfort, and elegance, all five home plans are designed with leading edge green technology and energy efficient features.

A Winning Partnership with Yountville

The partnership between the Knight family (the owners of the property for over sixty years), Healthy Buildings, and the Town of Yountville began in 2006. This beautiful property is set amid the vineyards in the northeast corner of the town off Yountville Cross Road. The homes will boast breathtaking views of Stags Leap and local vineyards amid the serenity of the heritage oaks. Home owners will enjoy Yountville’s bucolic charm and living within walking distance of the town’s world class Michelin-rated restaurants.

The homes of Vineyard Oaks will be built on a parcel with a piece of Yountville history; the Knight family purchased the two acre lot in 1948. After running a successful egg ranching operation, George Knight owned and operated Knight Lumber and Fence Company for over forty years, first with his father and later his sons, until his death in 1999. The Knight brothers, Brian, Eric, and George, continued the family business for several years before closing in 2003. “A home is a living, breathing organism,” said Eric Knight, “and now that we have a chance to build homes on our family land, we want to build beautiful, healthy, and more energy-efficient homes.”

The Knight family and Healthy Buildings worked closely with the residents and Yountville Town Council to ensure that everyone was satisfied with the designs. Although redesigns and the extra efforts added time to the project, the Knight family was absolutely committed from the start to build elegant, green homes that blended into the small town, rural character of Yountville.

Luxury and Green Living – The Perfect Blend

  • Semi-Custom Net Zero electric homes with 5 available designs

  • 2,000–3,800 sq. feet, one and two story homes
  • Customized home control from iPad or other devices
  • Below ground wine cellars (optional)
  • Outdoor kitchen and entertainment area with full vineyard views
  • Gourmet kitchen design and appliances

The Sustainable Commitment

Keeping an eye toward sustainability from the start of a project is Healthy Buildings’ trademark, and having completed over 150 residential and commercial sustainable construction projects over the past twenty-five years, they certainly have the experience necessary to achieve this. Over ninety-eight percent of the materials from the previous buildings were recycled, and over sixty-seven percent of the materials used in the new construction will come from recycled or renewed sources.

Healthy Buildings has consistently held a focus on using cutting edge sustainability technology in their development projects, and is at the forefront of green housing and commercial design. These luxury homes have been designed to be Net Zero electric and will achieve this feat by utilizing a wide range of building strategies, mechanical, and electrical components. Passive solar designs, water use reduction measures, appropriate HVAC components, and the use of highly durable recycled and renewed materials will all play a significant role in creating the sustainable and responsible finished homes.

Some of the Green Features of a Vineyard Oaks Home

  • LEED for Home registered ®
  • Passive lighting design
  • Solar panels
  • No VOC paint
  • Grey water design
  • Garage electric car plug-ins
  • Recycled content steel frame construction
  • High efficiency HVAC
  • Energy Star windows and appliances

A Groundbreaking Development in the North Bay

The entire development project will be built according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. This is the most widely recognized standard for green home construction, and as a registered member of the Green Building Council, one that Healthy Buildings has helped make a more omnipresent reality. Vineyard Oaks is projected to be the first LEED for Homes Gold Certified development in the North Bay, and is proof that luxury and environmentally responsible design can truly coexist.

“The Knight family is pleased to have Olcott Real Estate handle the sales of Vineyard Oaks homes. Elizabeth’s real estate background and her knowledge of sustainable design and construction create the perfect blend,” said Eric Knight.

For more information contact Olcott Real Estate at 707-676-8985 or

Napa Valley Life - June/July 2011

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