DC Area’s First Carbon Neutral Home: Luxury, Style and Eco-Consiousness in McLean

Posted on October 8, 2009. Filed under: Recommendations | Tags: , , , , |

CharityWorks GreenHouseToday’s  Washington Post has a great article (and slideshow) on the impressive CharityWorks GreenHouse, the area’s first carbon neutral home, that will be open to the public starting this Saturday.

18 local firms worked to design this house beyond LEED Platinum certification with details such as dual flush toilets that save 6,000 gallons of water per year and reused/reclaimed materials for countertops and furnishings.

The 4,000 square foot home also features two green roofs, a geothermal heating and cooling system and a “smart home” monitor that tracks the home’s energy usage and sends updates to the owners I-Phone.

And if the house’s 4 bedrooms, five bathrooms, spa and lap-pool aren’t luxurious enough, maybe the virtual high definition golf room, simulating the experience of playing on famous golf courses while avoiding the carbon emissions related to actual golf.

These additions are part of the home’s message, according to Barry Dixon, the chair of the house design committee:

“The main message of this show house is you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or luxury to live a carbon-neutral existence”

According to Bethesda designer Skip Sroka, a green project costs 10-15%, but this home is using 80% less energy compared to similar family homes. Sroka thinks the cost premium will decrease as people put more value on environmental considerations:

“Remember when we just used to say about a room, ‘Isn’t it beautiful?’ Now we can say, ‘Isn’t it biodegradable, recyclable, sustainable — and beautiful?'”

Another cool aspect of the project is that it is not only a showcase for sustainable design in this area, but also raised funds for CharityWorks which distributed them to Friendship Public Charter School, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Injured Marine Sempre Fi Fund and the McLean Project for the Arts.

If you want to explore the CharityWorks GreenHouse, check out the website for details on visiting.

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