Welcome to Greendale
Welcome to Greendale, a green home remodel project targeted to receive a USGBC LEED for Homes Platinum rating!
We'll point out some of the decisions we've made and how we got there. We'll even ask you some questions, so you can join the discussion and help us along. We hope you'll be able to take away something that you'll be able to use in your green remodeling or homebuilding project, whether you're a homeowner, an architect, or a builder.
SUMMARY: A couple with young children buys the 1930s colonial house in which the wife grew up. Since they have to remodel, they decide to do a "green" remodel with improved energy efficiency, better indoor air quality, and sustainable materials and practices to create a safer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly home in which to raise their family. In addition, the move provides them with a "right-sized" home and a more sustainable location, with a greater number of amenities within walking distance to reduce the need to use a car for transportation. With little additional effort, they decide to pursue a LEED for Homes Platinum rating and use the project to help educate and inspire others about sustainable building and remodeling.
When the homeowners found out they were expecting, they started to think more about living in, and leaving for their children, a safe and healthy environment. Then the house her family lived in for nearly 50 years became available. The home is a 1930s colonial, 3BR, 1.5 BA, near a beautiful and active park. The couple was challenged to think about moving from their wonderful friends in their comfortable upscale suburban/rural neighborhood.
They started to consider the house a great location for raising the children and maintaining their own health. The advantages include the park and its many activities; grocery stores, restaurants, schools, shops, and services within walking distance; proximity to New York City; and greater socio-economic and cultural diversity.
Since the house needed considerable updating anyway, they decided to take the opportunity to do a "green" remodel. The residence is being remodeled using many of the latest environmentally responsible methods and materials. The benefits will include lower operating costs, lower carbon footprint, a healthier home, and better environmental stewardship. It will serve as a model of how to "green" an older traditional-style house on a modest budget and how traditional builders can adapt to green building techniques. The house is targeted for a LEED for Homes Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. (Only one home in New Jersey is currently rated Platinum, and that is new construction.)
The homeowners have already extended their enthusiasm about their project to their family, friends, neighbors, and township. They have led the formation of a community group to encourage sustainability, with successes already achieved in adoption of green building guidelines into the town's redevelopment plans, reduction of paper use by the township, sponsorship of a community "green fest", the town's interest in alternative fuel vehicles, and articles and profiles in the township newsletter and local press.