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Two Weeks To Close – How Green Can We Go?

February 13th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Green Builders and Developers, Green Houston Communities

I absolutely LOVE what I do and the people I work with.   Several times I have written about the Limited number of LEED Projects available in Houston for Home Buyers but a few weeks ago, some clients and I ran across a Gem in the Upper West End.

Could it be LEED Platinum?

Built and Designed by Parra Design Group we found some great Free Standing Homes off of Patterson.  The Urban Design immediately catches your eye and the location is truly unbelievable.   If you have driven by you have probably noticed the USGBC signs out front and wondered…

Since my clients were actively looking and considering LEED we decided to take a look and when we walked inside immediately knew that this was EXACTLY what they have been looking for.  Sleek and Sexy interior with a well designed floorplan and an amazing view of the Houston Skyline from the 3rd floor.

Now, when we found the property a put it under contract – The homes are taking Houston by storm and were projected to be LEED Silver.  With a few minor changes we have it up to projected LEED Gold!  Could we go all the way and make it Platinum?  First, what had it at LEED Silver:

  • The Infill Project has a small Footprint on the land- Not a whole lot of space for grass, etc. that needs water
  • Highly efficient Envelope for the Home.  It was designed to be Super Energy Efficient
  • 17 SEER HVAC with Humidity Control for efficiency and healthier Indoor Air Quality
  • Low VOC everything.  Paint, Sealants on the Flooring, etc.
  • Energy Star Light fixtures and appliances
  • Tankless Hot Water Heater
  • Upgraded insulation to R-19 in the walls
  • A projected HERS rating that is well below Code

These are just a few of the Sustainable features.  While Consulting with Parra Design and David Murrah of Infra-Tex Inspections my clients made the decision to take it as far as they could!  Here are the few changes that we made to get it Projected Gold:

  • No Grass.  They went permeable all the way with more Pavers and Pebbles
  • CFL’s – All light bulbs that could be changed…were changed
  • No Carpet!  More hardwoods upstairs and all tile downstairs.  2nd floor was already Hardwood
  • Upgraded some appliances – Fridge, Washer, Dryer are a little more efficient

With their team – the builder and LEED Rater – we are trying now to see… Could it be Platinum? The Greenest of all Green according to the U.S. Green Building Coucil?  Over the past week have been some Highly Energetic meetings to find out what could get it there.  Ralph Parrot with Alternative Power Solutions has been signed to install 3Kw of Solar Panels on the Property that is projected to account for approximately 1/3rd of the homes power which is expected to bump the project even closer to Platinum!

Other items being considered:

  • Additional testing on the efficiency of the home
  • Potential Grey Water Usage
  • A Recirculation System for the Hot Water
  • An Energy Recovery Ventilator

David Murrah, Parra Design, Alternative Power Solutions and my clients are actively and aggressively working to get this project at the highest level possible.  Stay tuned to see how it turns out! We have two weeks until closing, can we make it?

I will be posting further information on the LEED Properties as there are some other ones available

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