Green Built Homes

A Sustainable Community of Homes


Imagine you and your family in a cozy house with warm solar heated floors and breathing clean, fresh air both inside and out, all year long. You can enjoy daylight in each room of your green, eco-home, and watch the seasons change outside your windows. Your home blends into the forest with exteriors of natural stone, wood, and glass.


Living in balance with nature can be comfortable, beautiful, and good for the environment. In a sustainable community, each unique green home is designed to be healthy, earth friendly, and constructed with sustainable materials that don’t deplete the planet’s resources.

Click on any image of Home to View Features & Project
Scroll Down to view Building Information, Green Certifications & Recommended Builders.

Solar & Permaculture

Clay-Adobe Walls

Passive Solar Cottage

Rainwater Collection

100yr old Cottage

Net-Zero Solar

Laughing Waters

Laughing Waters Retreat Center North Carolina

Hickory Nut Forest homes are energy efficient, getting their heat and electricity from the sun, water, and wood. Each home is designed to meet green home standards.

Click here to see Available Lots

Design Guidelines

The intent of the Design Guidelines is to encourage homesite designs that are in harmony with the surrounding landscape. The Design Guidelines are intended to assist property owners, landscape architects and architects, and building contractors prior to the beginning of the homesite design.

Green Home Design Options

Green Built Home

Green means something very simple to us – taking actions and making decisions that are not harmful to the living natural systems all around us. Building a green home means using sustainably produced materials and leaving a small carbon footprint.

Earth Friendly Materials

Keeping indoor air quality clean and chemical free using earth-friendly, non-toxic paints and finishes, flooring, and walls, and managing moisture and humidity.

Sustainable Building Materials

Choosing to purchase materials that come from sustainable forests or recycled from pre-existing materials, and using wood from downed trees and other native materials are values put into practice in building the homes in Hickory Nut Forest.

Buying Local

Buying supplies and materials from local sources helps support local businesses and also lowers transportation costs, with every dollar spent locally continuing to circulate in the community.


Tight and Insulated Home

Using cellulose, fiberglass, rigid foam panels or sprayed foam for insulation; using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) in roofs and walls; using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) in basements; using argon-filled windows and thermal shutters.



Integrating the surrounding ecology, collecting and recycling water, using non-permeable driveways, wetland marshes and bio-swales to prevent erosion and silt runoff.


Using low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets; collecting rainwater in catchment basins and cisterns for use in the garden; using “living machines” that pass black water through permaculture systems or ponds and break down the waste into re-usable organic nutrients for plants.

Electric Cars

Recharging electric cars from renewable energy sources.

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle

Living a lifestyle that is respectful of our beloved planet can include growing food, recycling, composting, reusing things, and reducing energy needs without sacrificing a high quality of life.


Welcoming the Sun

Designing your home to make full use of the solar energy available by incorporating daylight when possible.  The use of solar thermal panels and solar photovoltaic panels will pay for itself over time.


Green Home Certifications

The U.S. Green Building Council offers LEED Certification for commercial and residential buildings.

North Carolina has a HealthyBuild Homes Program offering certification for green-built, healthy, energy efficient homes.

The HERS Index is a scoring system established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is in comparison to the HERS Reference Home

Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumption.

Recommended Green Builders