Two Homes, Two Possibilities for Sustainable Living

On Thursday, January 5th, our cohort group had the opportunity to visit two very different green homes.  Both residences were Ferrier Custom Home projects and demonstrate creative sustainable solutions that can be implemented at different price levels.

    4232 Lovell, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Tankless Seisco water heater
  • Icynene spray foam insulation in attic & wall cavities
  • Replace 100% windows with Maritech triple Low-E coating, Energy Star windows
  • Energy Star doors
  • Energy Star appliances
  • Restoring original hardwoods & door hardware
  • Removing & reusing lumbers, siding, etc.
  • All low or no VOC content paints, stains & adhesives
  • Open front porch back up to assist with ventilation & delay the use of AC
  • Daikin mini split AC system downstairs; Mitsubishi unit & blowers for upstairs
  • Programmable thermostats
  • PEX plumbing
  • Low flow showers, faucets & toilets
  • Energy Star lighting
  • Native landscaping
  • Donating unused items to Habit to Humanity (doors, plumbing & electrical fixtures)

The first home we visited was recently renovated.  The owner, Heather Ferrier, stated on the company website, “We want to use this project as a model of how green building & cost effectiveness can coexist, all the while restoring the original charm of this 1938 home. 
” Heather and her husband had a budget and the final cost of the project was approximately $80,000 plus the purchase of the property.   Heather explained that their approach to the remodel was to determine what was most important, deduct the cost from the budget, and work their way down the list of priorities.  When asked about appraisals of this type of project, she mentioned that some appraisers are not familiar with green building and that it is important to educate the appraiser on features that they might not be familiar with.

The feature that most stood out to me on this property was the Daikin mini split AC unit.  I have never seen one of these systems in a home and it seems to be a cost-effective and simple way to heat and cool the home. This link describes the system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCbmuyUXDqg&feature=player_detailpage

 I especially liked visiting this home, because I agree that existing homes can benefit from green remodels that will lower energy bills, improve indoor air quality, and help reduce carbon emissions.  I’m looking forward to my own green remodel and hope to be able to use Ferrier Builders on my project. I’m happy to know that I will be able to do an affordable remodel that meets my financial bottom line and helps the planet!

Source: http://ferriercustomhomes.com

 

718 N. Bailey, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Passive solar design
  • Infill lot
  • Designed home around existing trees
  • Spray foam insulation in walls & roof
  • Reflective TPO roof on house, galvalume metal roof on garage
  • Low-E Hurd windows
  • All low or no VOC paints, stains & adhesives
  • On site recycling of construction debris (scrap lumber & sheetrock ground into landscaping mulch)
  • Ductless Mitsubishi AC with mini-split LG wall units
  • Programmable thermostats
  • PEX plumbing
  • Low flow toilets & shower heads
  • ENERGY STAR appliances
  • Tankless water heater
  • Native landscaping
  • Non-toxic pest control
  • Detached garage

The second home that we visited was a modern new construction infill project that was completed in 2010. Charlotte and Thomas De La Pena were gracious hosts as we asked a number of questions regarding all phases of their construction. The 1730 square foot home was built for approximately $150 sq. ft. and the lot was purchased for 110,000.  The price of this new home might be cost prohibitive for many couples, but the couple now has a healthy, energy-efficient home that will be perfect for starting a family.  Thomas indicated that their average utility bill is $65 monthly. The savings is due to the many energy-efficient features of the home.  Charlotte mentioned that they went with a TPO roof that reflects sunlight.  I had never heard of TPO roofs, but a quick search on the Internet provided the information I was seeking.  Thermoplastic polyolefin roofing membrane is white. It is particularly popular in southern states where its reflective properties reduce energy costs. When a fellow cohort inquired about the possibility of the flat roof leaking, Charlotte stated that the installation and design of the system prohibits leaking.

Source: What Is TPO Roofing? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_5631174_tpo-roofing_.html#ixzz1iuqM1094

It was a privilege to visit these homes and meet the owners. I’m encouraged that there are builders like Ferrier who are committed to green homes that address the triple bottom line and I’m even more pleased that young professional couples are embracing green building.

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About Kim Gideon

I'm an Educator, Public Speaker, and Sustainable Living and Wellness enthusiast who is seeking a more balanced way of living.
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