Go Green: Ford's Colony Goes Green

Ford's Colony Goes Green

Ford’s Colony strives to Go Green by implementing green technology and practices and carrying out the HOA’s mission, which preserves resources and in many instances saves money.   

The Ford’s Colony Strategic Plan calls for the use of green technology when practical. It states the desire “to continuously evaluate integrating a Green philosophy in a practical and sustainable way into every aspect of living in the community.” Adopted by the Ford’s Colony Board of Directors in August 2016, the Go Green Master Plan outlines an approach to accomplishing this goal. The plan lists a variety of initiatives crossing a broad spectrum of green-related issues, including energy conservation and protection of Ford’s Colony natural resources.

The Go Green Master Plan tasks a Green Facilitator, appointed by the Board, and several key committees with evaluating green technologies for potential implementation and communicating green issues to the residents of Ford’s Colony. The Green Initiatives focus on three areas: reuse, reduce and recycle; energy, land nature and water conservation; and management of storm water runoff.

Ford’s Colony began implementing green technologies long before adoption of the Go Green Master Plan. In 2009, the HOA modernized irrigation practices and planted drought tolerant turf in common areas. Since then, the HOA has installed energy saving LED lighting, converted landscape areas to low maintenance drought tolerant shrubs and installed green appliances in various facilities. To see the list, click on summary of FCHOA Green Projects. Interested in the project details? FCHOA Green Projects 2009-2016 provides a comprehensive look at those projects.

Ford's Colony Green Projects

Ford’s Colony HOA green initiative strives to implement cost effective and environmentally friendly technology. Here’s a snapshot of the green technology that’s part of the Ford’s Colony landscape. For more detail, check out the FCHOA Green Projects List and FCHOA Green Project Details.


2020 Green Projects
Ford’s Colony Drive Rejuvenation
Location: Ford’s Colony Drive
Year: 2020
To extend the life of the roadway on Ford’s Colony Drive, the association applied a plant-based product to restore the chemical properties of the asphalt. This product also eliminates the need to re-stripe after application.
It’s Green! The environmentally friendly plant-based rejuvenation product eliminates the use of oil-based products and reduced the project cost a little over $20,000.
Weed Control — Non-Selective Herbicides
Location: Colony-wide
Year: 2020
Project Maintenance staff began using a non-selective herbicide that does not contain Glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup). The product, called Cheetah Pro, uses natural ingredients to kill unwanted weeds.
It’s Green! Cheetah Pro contains several naturally-occurring species of soil bacteria and works faster than Roundup without the use of Glyphosate. Project Maintenance staff also began using SureGuard SC for extended residual control allowing longer times between respraying problem areas. The product is more expensive than Roundup but the decrease in frequency makes it cost less overall.  
Rejuvenation of Westbury Park Parking Lot
Location: Westbury Park
Year: 2020
To extend the life of the Westbury Park parking lot, the association applied a plant-based product to restore the chemical properties of the asphalt. This product also eliminates the need to re-stripe after application.
It’s Green! The environmentally friendly plant-based rejuvenation product eliminates the use of oil-based products, and is less expensive than the previously used coal tar product.
    Completed Green Projects
  Rejuvenation of the Walking Trails
Location: St. Andrews Drive
Year: 2018
The association rejuvenated 30,000 square yards of asphalt pathway along St. Andrews Dr.

It’s Green! Rejuvenation extends the life of the asphalt by five years and saves on early replacement costs.

Street Resurfacing in the Berkshire Neighborhood
Location: Berkshire Neighborhood and St. Andrews Dr. near Waterton Entrance
Year: 2018
A contractor resurfaced most of the streets in the Berkshire neighborhood and a portion of St. Andrews near the Waterton entrance. The contractor milled and recycled approximately 2,500 tons of asphalt.

It’s Green! The recycled asphalt can be reused as base material for roads and sidewalks, and road repaving.  

HVAC System Installation
Location: S&T Club
Year: 2018
FCHOA installed a more efficient HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system for the S&T main meeting room and kitchen. The new system contains three units, which can operate in series and run only when needed to maintain the desired temperature. 
It’s Green! Since its installation, FCHOA has saved approximately $4,000 in energy costs. 
Switching to LED Lights
Location: Community Services Building, Mechanics Shop and the Warehouse
Year: 2018
The lights in the several Community Services building will shine brighter and more efficiently with the installation of LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lights. 
It’s Green! The FCHOA will see a reduction in energy use and associated costs for the lighting in the Community Services Building, Mechanics Shop and the Warehouse. 
Extending Wood Lines on Common Areas
Location: Various Common Areas
Year: 2018
Maintenance staff reduced turf areas by extending the wooded areas. Installing pine straw or mulch in these areas reduces maintenance. 
It’s Green! Landscaped areas covered in pine straw and mulch lessens the need for applying chemicals used for pest and weed control. These chemicals can potentially runoff into adjoining ponds.    

Rain Garden Installation

Location: Along St. Andrews Drive, east of the Swim & Tennis Club
Year: 2017
Rain gardens collect and retain storm water. Water collected in a rain garden remains on the property where it evaporates or gradually seeps into the groundwater table. This eliminates the flow of water, which can contain pollutants, on to the street and into the storm water system eventually reaching local waterways. The HOA received partial funding for the project through a VCAP grant.
It’s Green! Rain gardens reduce runoff into our streets that can carry pollutants into our ponds.
dwellingLIVE® Implementation    
Location: Entrance Gates
Year: 2017
Emissions from our gasoline-powered vehicles impact the air we breathe and our quality of life. An idling car gives off a variety of contaminants known to affect humans and the environment. The technology of dwellingLIVE® allows guests to bypass the staffed gates and proceed to their destination.
It’s Green! Approximately 317,550 vehicles stop for service annually. Assuming each stay lasts 45 seconds, this equates to 979 pounds of carbon monoxide, 46 pounds of total hydrocarbons, 40 pounds of volatile organic compounds and 39 pounds of nitrogen oxide entering the air each year.
Road Surface Rejuvenation
Location: Major roads and walking paths in the Colony 
Year: Ongoing
Road rejuvenation extends the life of pavement by three to five years. The process restores the oils in the pavement to maintain asphalt flexibility and decrease cracking. By reducing the frequency of street repaving, FCHOA expects to save about $1.3 million over a 30-year period.

It’s Green! Reducing paving frequency lessens the use of oil and emissions.
Road Repaving Using Thin Pave Technique
Location: Edinburgh Drive from Hunstanton to St. Andrews Drive 
Year: 2012
The thin pave technique applied a 1-inch overlay with a fine stone on the road instead of the standard 2-inch overlay. Use of this technique allowed for the HOA to pave almost twice as much road surface for the same cost.
It’s Green! Thin pave process reduced the resources used for paving.  
Drainage Pipe Repairs Using Cured-in-Place Piping
Location: Various
Year: Since 2012
Drainage pipes can deteriorate over time. The HOA replaced 785 linear feet of drainage pipe using a cured-in place process. Crews lined the damaged pipe with a resin-saturated felt tube made of polyester. The tube was expanded to fit the interior diameter of the pipe, which provided structural support and eventually replaced the damaged pipe. Cured-in-place pipe repairs saved approximately $160 per linear foot.

It’s Green! Cured-in-place pipe repairs require less resources including asphalt, dirt and fuel, and lessens the need to disturb the surrounding landscape.
Hardie Plank Installation on S&T Club Exterior
Year: 2010-2012
The HOA replaced the wood façade on the Swim & Tennis Club buildings with Hardie Plank boards.

It’s Green! Hardie plank boards decrease maintenance requirements and materials to conduct maintenance activities.
S&T and Westbury Playground Renovation
Year: 2013
Crews installed new playground equipment at the S&T Club and Westbury Park playgrounds. The  new structures are made of long-lasting maintenance-free plastic. The project also included the installation of mulch designed for use in playgrounds.

It’s Green!  New mulch expected lifespan is 5 years.
Streetlight Conversion to LED Lighting
Year: 2012 to 2014
The FCHOA replaced 673 streetlights using 175-watt halide bulbs with 65-watt LED arrays. This project saves the Colony $26,000 in energy costs and $31,000 in maintenance costs annually. LED arrays also were installed at the Swim & Tennis Club and Westbury Park parking lots between 2010 and 2012.
It’s Green! LED lighting reduces KWH usage by 63 percent.
Turf Conversion to Bermuda Grass 
Year: 2009
The turf to Bermuda grass conversion occurred at all or portions of the entrances at Manchester, Firestone and Williamsburg West, as well as the Swim & Tennis Club, Westbury Park and the John Pott Triangle.  
It’s Green! Bermuda grass requires less water and chemicals to keep it green and looking great. Bermuda grass does not require annual over seeding which reduces overall maintenance costs.
Conversion to Drought Tolerant and Low Maintenance Shrubs
Year: Ongoing
Crews install drought tolerant and low maintenance shrubs to reduce water use and maintenance costs. In 2014, the Landscape Subcommittee also began to incorporate more native plant landscape designs. 

It’s Green! Drought tolerant plants save water. Once established, drought tolerant plants can tolerate periods of dry hot weather without regular watering.

Conversion of Turf Areas to Pine Straw Beds
Year: 2011
Difficult turf areas, that is, where turf fails to establish, were converted to pine straw beds. Pine straw beds reduced chemical use and maintenance. Pine straw increased the acidic level in the soil and reduced new growth.

It’s Green! Pine straw reduces the need to spray chemicals for weed control and fertilizers, as well as reducing watering needs.
Leaf Mulching
Year: 2012
Crews mulched leaves rather than remove them in selected areas of the Colony. Mulching leaves reduced time spent on leaf removal.

It’s Green! Mulched leaves provide important nutrients to the soil.
Mulched Chips on Nature Trail
Year: Ongoing
Maintenance staff grinds trimmings from previous years into mulch chips for use as the trail bed.

It’s Green! Recycling trimmings reduce trash in landfills and provide a porous path that allows water to penetrate back into the soil.
Environmentally Friendly Landscape Products
Year: 2015
The maintenance of landscaped areas required adding nutrients to the soil and spraying for pests. Staff used environmentally friendly products like Mirimichi, a soil conditioner that puts nutrients back into the soil, and non-selective herbicides that don’t contain harmful chemicals. These products are safer for the environment.   

It’s Green! The application of environmentally friendly products protects our waterways and wildlife from harmful chemicals.
Treating Roads with Calcium Chloride
Year: Ongoing
Rock salt, commonly used to treat ice and snow on roadways, can harm vegetation and wildlife. To protect the environment, FCHOA uses calcium chloride instead. Additionally calcium chloride works at lower temperatures than rock salt.

It’s Green! Calcium chloride is safer for the environment than rock salt.
Pond Edge Buffers
Year: Ongoing
All water seeks its source, flowing into ponds and streams and eventually finding the ocean. Rain and irrigation water pick up dirt, chemicals and anything else along its path. FCHOA allows growth surrounding the ponds to serve as a buffer. This vegetation acts as a filter to lessen contaminants like nitrogen and phosphorous from entering the ponds. It also reduces the amount of dirt, silt and grass clippings entering the water, which reduces the frequency of dredging the ponds.

It’s Green! Pond buffers help maintain good water quality on the ponds.
Maintenance Zones to Reduce Fuel Consumption
Year: 2012
FCHOA conducted work by assigning work tasks by zones to reduce fuel consumption. 

It’s Green! Maintenance zones reduced fuel consumption by approximately 4,000 gallons per year.
HVAC System Replacement
Year: 2010 to 2014
The replacement of HVAC units at the Swim & Tennis Club, the Community Services Building and the Mechanics Shop with higher SEER units decreases energy usage.

It’s Green! More efficient HVAC units save energy.
Green Fixtures and Appliances
Year: 2014 to 2015
The Swim and Tennis Club and Community Services Building restrooms and the employee break room received an update using environmentally friendly fixtures and appliances. 

It’s Green! Energy-efficient appliances and water saving devices reduce the use of limited natural resources.
“Green” Emergency Generators
Year: 2014
FCHOA purchased energy efficient standby generators for the Mechanics Shop and the Manchester Guard House. 

It’s Green! Energy efficient generators provide essential power during outages.
Controlling Water Runoff with Dry Wells
Year: 2013
Dry wells allow water to percolate into the ground to reduce water runoff. Staff installed dry wells where there is little grade by excavating a low-lying area and amending the soil with sand and other materials that allow percolation.  

It’s Green! Percolating water into the ground reduces storm water flows into nearby streams.
Controlling Water Runoff with Rain Gardens
Year: 2014
Rain Gardens collect storm water and irrigation runoff in low-lying areas using amended soil and plant material.

It’s Green! Percolating water into the ground reduces storm water flows into nearby streams, while the plant material serves as a filter.
Minimize Use of Concrete Swales
Year: 2013
Swales direct storm water runoff to the neighborhood ponds. While most swales are constructed using concrete, the HOA uses EC-3 permanent matting for the same purpose. EC-3 matting is pervious, so some of the storm water runoff can percolate into the ground. Since its appearance is not aesthetically pleasing, this material is used in wooded areas and areas not visible to residents and visitors.

It’s Green! Swales made of pervious materials return storm water runoff to the soil, rather than the ponds.