The desire for a GREEN home can have homeowners and homebuyers seeing RED. A developer’s decision to install a low-flow toilet might save water, but a truly green home encompasses much more. For conscientious home owners and home buyers, the decision to upgrade existing homes with environmentally-friendly additions is admirable, but there are limitations as to what can be done.
Developing a green home from the ground up offers the most complete and cost-effective way to live green. The developer, architect, and contractor work cohesively to ensure that every environmental element possible is utilized to build an authentic and impressive green home. Combining these three integral positions is the most beneficial and cost-effective way to build green from the homes’ foundations to their rooftop gardens and from the exterior building materials to the interior design.
Partners at the Office for Elemental Design + Development (OED2) are the visionary developers, architects and contractors, who supervise every aspect of their custom builds based on a model of sustainability, modern style, high quality and healthy environments. OED2 homes are both stylish and conscientious; their homes produce more energy than they consume, filter and reuse storm water and limit waste production. OED2 homes are connected to nature through abundant natural light and ventilation, and they help homeowners’ live healthier lives.
First Photo (exterior view):
Solar Photovoltaic System - This 2.7 kilowatt system located on the garage roof of this amazing Denver, CO green home can provide up to 75 percent of the home’s electrical power needs. The more power that’s produced, the less carbon the utility needs to burn. Net metering will save a bundle in electricity.
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) - The exterior walls of the home are constructed with pre-fabricated, super-insulated, structural insulated panels (SIPs). These panels are a sandwich of soy-based, closed-cell foam between two sheets of no VOC OSB. They provide unparalleled insulating performance, structural integrity and superior quality.
Zero Maintenance Exterior Materials – Composite wood rain screens, reclaimed stone and prefinished metal siding are maintenance-free. Exterior maintenance on a home is expensive, time consuming and toxic. Zero maintenance means less waste and lower costs for the home.
Reclaimed Stone - Stone cladding was salvaged from a demolished building on the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado. It’s beautiful, real stone and repurposing it kept it out of a landfill.
Composite Wood Siding - This wood/plastic composite siding material is made from recycled wood waste and plastic resins, giving it unparalleled durability while maintaining the warm appearance of a natural wood product. The siding never has to be stained, painted or sealed.
Commercial Grade Roof - This is not typical residential roofing. This commercial-grade roof is installed on more than 1 billion-square-feet of buildings per year. It’s a high-quality, high-performance, white roof that reflects the sun to reduce heat that enters the house. It repels rain and snow and lowers energy bills.
Second Photo (rear view):
Low Water Landscaping - The professionally-designed landscape and irrigation system is filled with drought resistant indigenous plants, shrubs and trees. Catch basins take rainwater from the roof and distribute it to the roots of plants through perforated pipes.
Solar Photovoltaic System - This 2.7 kilowatt system located on the garage roof can provide up to 75 percent of the home’s electrical power needs. The more power that’s produced, the less carbon the utility needs to burn. Net metering will save a bundle in electricity.
Third Photo (open plan kitchen - dining room):
Designer Lighting - Artemide light fixtures are the ultimate in modern style. Superior quality and fine design unite to illuminate the home in warmth.
Engineered Stone Countertops - Engineered quartz countertops throughout the home are scratch resistant, stain resistant, scorch resistant, chemical resistant, mold and mildew resistant and stronger than natural stone or other solid surface materials. Stone is also sustainable.
Custom Cabinets - Every cabinet in the home is custom-designed and built to maximize functionality and provide the highest level of quality. They are fitted with the Blumotion soft-close system, slide-out shelves and pull-out pantry systems to make the most of the space.
Energy Star Appliances - Bosch Energy Star appliances are the most energy efficient appliances on the market. There is no need to compromise on quality and style in order to be green.
Air Purifier, Humidifier and ERV – Fresh outdoor air circulates year-round to keep the home’s air fresh and clean. The combined system of an ERV (energy recovery ventilator), air purifier and steam humidifier ensures optimal indoor air quality regardless of the weather outside.
Fourth Photo (master bedroom suite):
Daylight & Natural Ventilation - The home has more than 50 high-performance windows and two massive sliding doors selectively placed to maximize daylight and natural ventilation. Abundant natural light and ventilation reduces electrical bills and reconnects homeowners with nature.
Hybrid Heating & Cooling System - A variable speed, multi-stage, super high-efficiency furnace is coupled with a heat-pump air conditioner to offer maximum efficiency, optimal comfort and a smaller carbon footprint all year round.
Low- and No-VOC Interior Finishes - Low and no-VOC paints, stains, carpet, engineered wood and adhesives are used throughout the home so residents can breathe easier and live healthier.
Custom Closet Design – The home’s closets remain unfinished so the homeowner can design custom closet storage space.
Natural Wool Fiber Carpet – Natural wool fiber carpeting is a plush, renewable resource. This 50/50 blend carpet featuring wool and synthetic fibers offers durability and longevity. It is installed on a VOC-free, soy-based memory foam pad for a lifetime of supreme green comfort.
Fifth Photo (master bath):
Water Efficient Plumbing Fixtures – Water is a vital resource in semi-arid Colorado, so efficient plumbing offers plenty of water pressure and a lower water bill.
Radiant Heated Bathroom Floor – Electric radiant flooring heats feet fast at the flip of a switch and saves energy by keeping the furnace off in the morning.
Hot Water Recirculation Loop – Heated water circulates to the bathrooms for instant hot water, which saves gallons of water per year spent waiting for hot water. It won’t waste energy since the loop is on a timer to run only when needed.
Compact Fluorescent Lighting with Sensors ¬ Almost every light is equipped with high-efficiency CFL bulbs to drastically cut energy consumption and heat gain. Motion sensors and door activated switches are installed in key areas so lights and fans shut off when unused.
Sixth Photo (dining area):
Automated Shades Pre-wiring – Large windows surrounding the staircase are pre-wired with a Lutron automated shade system. This allows solar control and privacy at the push of a button.
Reclaimed Wood - Vintage hardwood oak floors from the site’s previous home were salvaged prior to demolition. They were repurposed into custom, architectural features including the coffered ceiling in the dining room and wall panels in the master bathroom and foyer.
Seventh Photo (living room):
Flexible Living Space - Designed to be a multi-purpose space, the flex room is a media room; a guest bedroom with an attached full bath and closet; an extension of the living room; a second home office; a kids’ playroom; an artists’ studio; basically anything a homeowner can imagine.
Sliding Glass Room Divider – A “now you see it, now you don’t” frosted glass sliding wall offers the epitome of flexibility. Closed, it separates the flexible space from the living room, while still allowing natural light to flood through. Slid into its pocket, it enlarges the living room by more than 50 percent.
Central Vacuum System – Traditional vacuums contribute to poor indoor air quality. A top-of-the-line central vacuum system is five times more powerful, removes 100% of contacted dirt, and reduces allergy symptoms up to 61%.
Eighth Photo (outdoor terrace):
Roof Deck – Indoor/outdoor living is possible with sliding glass that connects the master bedroom retreat to a 210-square-foot deck situated under the canopy of a beautiful elm tree.
Vegetated Roof – This multi-functioning roof system insulates the roof, filters pollutants from rainwater and melted snow and moistens the air.
Ninth Photo (green roof):
Green Roof Benefits:
- Social: Improved livability.
- Aesthetic: More attractive than asphalt, gravel or tar, extends patio usage.
- Temperature control: Vegetation cools air and slows air movement.
- Noise reduction: Plants and soil are acoustic insulators. Green roofs can reduce indoor sound by as much as 40 decibels.
- Fire Prevention: Succulent green roof plants help reduce the risk of fire.
- Water Conservation: The soil in green roof systems acts like a sponge and absorbs excess rain water. Research shows that extensive green roof systems can reduce storm water runoff up to 90 percent-plus annually.