A GREEN Home Tour

Exterior

A main factor in LEED building is using sustainable, long-lasting materials. At the Br’er Abbott house, it starts outside. The majority of its exterior is made up of some form of steel. Its color comes from sustainable treatments — such as staining — so no painting or finishing will have to be done in the future. The deck fits the sustainability bill, too: Its expected lifespan is about
50 years.

Windows

LEED calls for quality lighting and “exceptional” windows. Br’er Abbott doesn’t skimp on natural lighting, with big windows on all levels, including the basement.

Walls

How’s this for insulation? All of the home’s bedroom walls are filled with recycled blue jeans material to keep down noise.

Heating and cooling
Hidden beneath all of the floors’ surfaces are thousands of feet of radiant tubes, the expected source of most of the house’s heat. Each floor’s tube temperature can be controlled in the basement. Vents in the house are for air conditioning and for the house’s heat-recovery ventilator, a sort of living lung that recycles stale air and decreases humidity.

Rain Gardens

The front and backyards are hydrated by rainwater runoff from the house’s roof. Project designer Jonathan Query said the gardens will find plenty of hydration this way. “It’s almost like having an aquarium underneath,” he said.

Floors

Bamboo was the floor of choice in most of the house, a touch of sustainability that doesn’t look much different from any other hardwood floor. The kitchen has a cork floor, a decision made because of how often the material can be harvested and because it provides a soft surface in an area that is expected to see much use.

Location
The front and backyards are hydrated by rainwater runoff from the house’s roof. Project designer Jonathan Query said the gardens will find plenty of hydration this way. “It’s almost like having an aquarium underneath,” he said.

Roof

A flat roof allows the option of creating a rooftop garden that would soak up rainwater and decrease the amount of solar heat otherwise absorbed into the home. A small rooftop expansion of the house has an angled roof that could host solar panels. Wires already have been strung from the basement up through the expansion’s walls, should the home’s owner decide to
go solar.

 

Photos by Robb Long