Going Green … In A Big Way

“Green” is in!

Wherever you go, you hear about people wanting to live “green”. The desire to live life in an environmentally friendly way. Sometimes its a simple as recycling.  Sometimes its something on a much more massive scale. Such is the case of the home just built for Sherwood and Shawna Johnson in Gibsonia.

It was a multi-year project … and this weekend its open for all the world to see. The Johnsons, who  tell me they are anxious to move into their new home, say they have decided to open their doors to the public so they can encourage others to look into environmentally friendly was to live their lives. Already its being profiled in several national home publications for its innovations. Take a look.

I visited the home during Saturday night’s open house … and let’s just say I was blown away. It’s large to begin with … and spectacular in size as many homes in the Gibsonia area can be. What’s different is the subtleties that make will allow the family residing in this home to save money and energy.

The countertops, for instance, are made of recycled paper and they are as hard as a rock. Floors made of bamboo. Solar power heats and cools the home. With the other internal devices, it will cost the family virtually nothing to heat and cool this home … and they have a relatively big family. outdoors, rain water is collected for irrigation of the lawn and garden.  Even the windows are set that at certain temperatures, they will automatically open and allow the outdoor air inside.

It was an amazing house … and yes it’s not cheap, but there homeowners and along with home designer Lori Smith of Distinctive Dwellings, tell me there are lessons for all of us inside this “super” green home. We can do simple things like using environmentally friendly cleaning products in our home. We can add weather stripping to older doors and windows which can reduce energy consumption. Another idea is a conversion kit fo the toilet, For less than $30, it can be self-installed and the home builders tell me you can save as much as 9000 gallons of water annually.

However, the contractors  ( SureGreen of Wexford ) of the Johnson’s dream home tell me the easiest thing you can do is invest in an energy audit, They add it’s always best to hire a licensed contractor and always check those references before having any recommended work done.

The Johnson house is open this weekend at 549 McLeod Drive, Gibsonia from 10am-4pm Friday-Sunday

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