A taste of the green life. LEED Gold on Martha’s Vineyard

by Kerry on May 19, 2010

Green LEED house

Settling in nicely to our fabulous new house, it is easy to forget that; 1) we really do need to sell it and 2) it truly is a marvel of energy efficiency.

When we began the construction of this house, we were completely focused on building a green home and lessening the environmental impact that the building process can create. There are so many areas to consider, from materials  and carbon footprint to location and design.

Having recently finished his LEED AP exam, my husband and his company were excited  to be able to apply this new understanding of environmentally friendly building ideals to a house on Martha’s Vineyard. The LEED rating system is a comprehensive point-value system  that rewards different levels of environmental building and design. This was an opportunity to build the 1st LEED for Homes Gold rated house on Martha’s Vineyard and we went for it.

In our excitement and enthusiasm for all things recycled, renewed and reworked, we lost track of the fact that we were deep in a recession and the housing market is always the first to go. I’m not saying that we weren’t aware of it, only that we were convinced that this house was so fantastic and unique and spectacular, that we would be able to sell it DESPITE the total economic collapse of the United State s financial market.

In our enthusiasm we enjoyed open houses that were beyond our wildest dreams, we showed the house to anyone who expressed an interest. We happily and with great passion expounded on the unique features and environment saving aspects of our amazing house, all 3477 square feet of it…and then, before you knew it, time was up.

Our construction loan had run its course and the extension we got from our lender was at almost double the original rates. In other words, despite our conviction that we were doing all the right things, despite all the support and well wishes from the neighbors and the local press, we had not sold the property in our allotted time.

Creative times call for creative solutions, and the one that made the most sense involved renting out our regular house and moving into the fabulous one as our primary residence. Then we could buy the house from ourselves and refinance to take advantage of the amazing rates being given by the banks.

So here I am, in my spectacular new home in all its energy efficient glory, wondering how long it can last. Even though my furniture is PERFECT in the living room and I ADORE the high ceilings and wide pine floors (locally harvested I might add) and the landscaping project is like the icing on the cake…we need to keep moving. It is easy to forget that this house is unlike any other because it was built with considerably higher standards than other homes. It feels good to be in it, it feels comfortable and safe and special.

Our goal is and always has been to put up this magnificent house as an example of what can be done with construction today in keeping with environmental awareness. We want to build more of them and continue to learn and be examples of change for future generations.

The fact that I am enjoying my cup of tea in this house is simply a happy side effect of the bigger plan and my family and I feel lucky for the opportunity…We  also look forward to passing it along to the next owner and celebrating an amazing achievement.

For more information on this property LEED Green Home Martha’s Vineyard.

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