These communities have distinguished themselves from concept to completion by respecting the ecology of their locations. Most have preserved large natural areas to protect local habitat and all feature homes that save energy, water, and other resources.
Choose a Category Best 19th Hole Best 2017 Debut Communities Best Boating Communities Best Golf Complexes Best Wellness Facilities Best Small Town Communities Best College Town Communities Best Community Pools Best Culinary Experiences Best Innovative Designs Best Eco-Friendly Designs Best Active Adult Communities Best Floorplans for 50+ Best Intracoastal Waterway Views Best Kayaking Communities Best Lake Views Best Model Homes Best Mountain Views Best Walking Trails Best Neotraditional Communities Best Oceanview Communities Best Outdoor Living Designs Best Tennis & Pickleball Clubs Best Sunsets
Select the communities below that you are interested in receiving more information.
Beaufort, SC — Pinckney Retreat is a gated coastal community minutes from historic downtown Beaufort, South Carolina, featuring majestic old live oak trees, antebellum gardens, and the original plantation home built in 1736. With its Lowcountry architecture and ideal location, Beaufort is one of South Carolina’s premier addresses. Nestled along the waterfront, with homes from the $650,000s, Pinckney Retreat captures the charm and natural beauty of this Lowcountry region. The community combines innovative land planning with resort-like amenities while preserving the land in an unwavering commitment to the environment.
Select Pacific Lots
Costa Rica—Pacific Lots and Homes is the largest, oldest international residential developer of custom homes in Costa Rica. Overlooking the country’s stunning southern Pacific coastal region, they offer a full rental management program and have no time limits to build by. A noted sustainable development now in their 28th year, they use renewable resources, forestry-managed tropical hardwoods and non-invasive development methods. All of their developments are in prior pastureland, and they never cut primary or secondary growth forest. Over 50% of the region where they are located features National Park land, rainforest, waterfalls and beaches.
Bahamas — Located on the stunning island of Great Abaco in the Bahamas, Schooner Bay is surrounded by tranquil beaches, lush forests, breath-taking vistas, and is the place dreams are made of. Water sports, delicious ocean-side restaurants and beach cabanas allow for the ultimate enjoyment of this dramatic shoreline. Schooner Bay is a unique Caribbean community that was designed from the beginning to the highest contemporary standards of sustainability. The residential options at Schooner Bay include oceanfront homes, harbourside cottages and maintenance-free condominiums in a village-style setting that has been created to protect the natural environment and enhance the quality of life.
NOSARA, COSTA RICA — Bellazo is the newest gated community on the pristine Pacific Gold Coast of Costa Rica by Kalia Living, one of Costa Rica's leading developers. The community features homes that are award-winning, eco-modern architectural masterpieces, with breathtaking ocean views. CNN named the area a top worldwide destination. The community offers a sumptuous spa, yoga, a gourmet restaurant, a 5-star hotel, maid and valet services. Countless activities are planned for residents. A beach club, horseback riding, sports courts, sunset bars, biking and hiking trails, even gorgeous waterfalls you can swim in.
Select Hickory Nut Forest
Gerton, NC —
Hickory Nut Forest is a 270-acre sustainable community in the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina near Asheville. From its inception, Hickory Nut Forest established renewable energy sources from solar and water, private homes that blend in with the natural environment and on-site organic orchards and gardens. The Laughing Waters Reteat Center is a hub of community activity, while the kayaking on Hickory Nut Creek is soulfully refreshing and the highland hiking trails in the ever-wild lands surrounding Hickory Nut Grove are simply awesome. Rio Verde
Rio Verde, AZ — Arizona’s Rio Verde is an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community that adjoins the beautiful Tonto National Forest. Carefully cultivated native landscaping throughout the development is irrigated with captured wastewater and power is generated by solar panels on the clubhouse and many private homes. The Rio Verde lifestyle emphasizes healthy outdoor activities like tennis, pickleball and bocce ball, play on the Rio Verde Country Club’s two championship courses, and hiking and cycling that begins at the community trailhead into the adjacent McDowell Mountain Regional Park. The Rio Verde Saddle Club offers members an authentic Western equestrian experience.
Babcock Ranch, FL — Located in Southwest Florida just north of Fort Myers, Babcock Ranch offers expansive public green spaces and trails, utility-scale solar generation and a gigabyte of fiber-optic connectivity standard to every home and free wi-fi everywhere you may roam. The 75MW Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center produces more clean, renewable energy than the new town will ever consume. All irrigation throughout the community uses reclaimed water. With 50% of the community footprint set aside for public green space, expansive sidewalks and more than 50 miles of trails for hiking and biking, Babcock Ranch delivers an expansive lifestyle with a minimal footprint.
Birmingham, AL — Mt Laurel is a master planned community with tree-lined streets, broad sidewalks, and plentiful green spaces. Mt Laurel is a sustainable neighborhood that offers residents a relaxed pace of life. It’s a place with a unique identity, formed by three core values: community, respect for nature, and a commitment to the future. Mt Laurel was thoughtfully planned to embrace its natural landscape. Mt Laurel’s amenities include an 11-acre swimming and fishing lake, hiking trails, parks, a dog park, tennis courts, basketball courts, a pool, and a community garden. With convenient access to the Mt Laurel Farm and a summer farmer’s market, residents can enjoy local, seasonal produce to accompany their active lifestyle.
Chattahoochee Hills, GA — Located in the north Georgia highlands above Atlanta, Serenbe was honored for its eco-friendly design with the Urban land Institute Inaugural Sustainability Award. Quality of life for Senebe’s residents is the focus here, with an organic community farm, three healthy-eating restaurants, a weekly farmer’s and artisan market under the shaded canopy of the Selborne Green and equestrian facilities connected to surrounding mountain trails. Senebe Homes are designed to the highest energy-saving standards and the community walking trails lead to an emerging town center where residents can shop or enjoy cultural events.
El Oceano Azul
Riviera Maya — Tierra Vergel builds green homes in the heart of the lush Mexican jungle, creating an eco-friendly slice of paradise. Each lot is individually sold so that, as long as your dream home meets with the conservation guidelines, you can personalize your future sanctuary of peace as much as you want. The EcoVergel Hotel and Spa Living Center in the middle of the community offers bikes, massage and wellness treatments, movies, delicious food and a place for the whole community to come together and relish the abundant nature and pristine beauty.