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First LEED Platinum Home in Texas

Green Home Building

By: Heather Ferrier - Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Project Name: Heather's Home
Project Location: 3900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Weatherford, Texas 76087
Project Date of ( projected ) completion: April 17, 2006
Square Footage: 2,038

The goal behind Heather’s Home was to prove that green, sustainable building is achievable for the average family. Since Heather (the homeowner) was a single, 26 year-old woman when she started this journey, our motto was that if she could afford to build this home, anyone could. The level of sustainability incorporated into her home was dictated by her budget, which was a concept the average family could identify with. As a partner with the Department of Energy's Building America Program, a cost vs. benefit analysis was used throughout the design and construction of the home in order to maintain our mission of affordable sustainability. The design (presented by Gary Olp of GGOArchitects) represents a consciously integrated holistic approach to energy efficiency and sustainability. All aspects of the design interplay with interior functions, the movement of the sun and the variability to the seasons. The intent was to create a home design that would be sensitive to the natural setting, optimize energy efficiency, provide a high level of comfort with natural daylighting, natural ventilation and be virtually maintenance free. All materials chosen were selected based on the principles of sustainability, low toxic emissions, and environmental impacts. The project has been used extensively as an educational tool both for consumers & the construction/architectural industry, with over 5,000 people touring it to date.

Some of the sustainable components of the home are: passive solar design, walls & roof made out of Structural Insulated Panels, durable Galvalume standing seam roof, solar hot water heater, drought-tolerant native landscaping practices, all Energy Star appliances, CFL lighting, bamboo flooring, low-flow faucets & showers, dual-flush toilets, Daikin A/C unit, attic fans, no or low-VOC paints and stains, regional White Ash cabinetry, bamboo flooring, on-site recycling during construction, recycled sheetrock & Hardi-board into mulch for landscaping, all trees were protected during construction to ensure their survival, PET carpet, rainwater catchment system (will be used for flushing toilets & landscaping), tubular skylights, PEX plumbing, Impasse termite protection, fly ash concrete, programmable thermostats, translucent roof in storage areas for daylighting, pervious drive & walkways, regionally harvested stone for retaining walls & walkways, etc.

•LEED-H Platinum
•First LEED-H certified home in Texas
•Certified by NAHB's Green Building Guidelines, achieved Gold (top) level
•NAHB’s Energy Value Housing Award (Gold)
•1st Home certified under American Lung Association’s Health House new, more stringent guidelines
•Dallas Home Builders Association 2007 Vesta Award for Best Green Built Home
•Structural Insulated Panel Association’s Overall 2007 Building Excellence winner & Best Home under 3,000sf

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