Green Homes

by Dave on August 22, 2009

Sustainable Living Catches On At The Beach

Tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac in Rehoboth Beach’s The Glade community stands an otherwise unassuming two-story home, about 3,000 square feet in size. Very little on the outside of this home would indicate that it is one of the most environmentally-friendly homes ever to be built in coastal Delaware, certified “Gold” by the internationally-recognized LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System.

According to the United States Green Building Council, “LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.”

Buck McLamb, who constructed the home in the Glade, shares some of the structure’s unique features.

“It uses some of the most advanced technologies and products available in green building,” says McLamb. “This home includes a highly efficient geothermal HVAC system, on demand water heaters, a 7.3 kilowatt solar system, a rain water capture and irrigation system, the use of many recycled and renewable products, EPA water sense fixture, nontoxic paints and glues, energy star appliances and light fixtures, passive solar design, the Advantech Huber zip system, nontoxic soy based foam insulation, and only 1-1/2 dumpsters during all of construction.”

The economic benefits of green building are being realized inside the home already. “The house is about 3000 heated square foot and last month posted a $26 utility bill,” says McLamb.
Homes like this one are becoming less and less rare in this market as people gravitate towards the dual benefits of economy and environment. Realtor/Ecobroker Susan Pomerantz of Ocean Atlantic/Sotheby’s Realty in Rehoboth Beach believes certain people are now looking for a home that reflects their commitment to the environment. These homes range from creative fantasies built from shipping crates stacked on top of each other to a traditional Cape Cod, made from ICF styrofoam and concrete panels, and wood floors from a grist mill that boasts an electric meter that goes backwards after a sunny day fills the solar panels.

“When the bragging rights to your house are about the size of your energy bill and not the size of your car, we are heading in a better direction for energy conservation,” notes Pomerantz.

Whether the motivation is economic, environmental, or both, look for the green home movement to accelerate over the coming years, says McLamb.

“It’s a win-win.”

This article first appeared in Coastal Sussex Weekly, July 16, 2009.

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