Going Green at the Beach – Leading Edge Green Home

Can a “mortgage banker and green advocate” find happiness by giving up a life of luxury to go green? This news article says yes. Going Green at the Beach documents Dave & Anna Porter’s quest to build a cutting edge “Craftsman” green home in Snohomish County, Washington.

The Porters aim to meet the requirements of not one but all five existing residential green building certification programs:

thus making it a record setting and hopefully trend setting green home.

How is this home greener than the rest?

  • Original home deconstructed, saving 80% of original material from going to landfills
  • Doors, kitchen cabinets recycled from original home
  • Geothermal heat
  • Radiant floor heating system
  • Rainwater collection system
  • Tankless hot water with recirculation system

… among many other features. The full list is quite lengthy: they’ve obviously put a lot of thought and effort into the design.

One of the things that jumped out from the list is that it is a “modest-sized home on a small lot”. How is that special? Well for people who used to drive a “gas-gulping Jaguar” and have a “4,000-square-foot home”, this is progress. As noted in my previous post, buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US – small(er) is beautiful.

The demonstration home is an expensive proposition but lucky for the Porters, they’re not “going it alone”. They are being assisted in their quest by a team of professionals, have sponsors and a marketing team.

When the beach house is finished in the fall, the Porters plan to report on how efficiently it performs, right down to the utility bills. They also will open their doors for tours.

The site seems new, much of the content is under construction but looks promising. My only disappointment with the site: they promised green tips from the family dog and I couldn’t find any. Skipper, the “recycled dog”, looks really cute in his hard hat and tool belt. Maybe that’s coming later …

Top 10 Greenest Cities in the USA

Burlington, Vermont is the most eco-friendly city in the USA according to a new survey from Country Home magazine. The survey rates cities based on “air and watershed quality, mass transit use, power use and number of organic producers and farmers’ markets.”

The Top Ten List:

  1. Burlington, Vermont
  2. Ithaca, New York
  3. Corvallis, Oregon
  4. Springfield, Massachusetts
  5. Wenatchee, Washington
  6. Charlottesville, Virginia
  7. Boulder, Colorado
  8. Madison, Wisconsin
  9. Binghamton, New York
  10. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Read more from the Associated Press.

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