California Green Home Proves Green Doesn't Have to be Extreme

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Green Home in Top 1% of GreenPoint Rated Homes -- without Sacrificing Style or Significantly Increasing Costs

I was surprised just how many efficiencies I could realize and still not be forced to make significant lifestyle changes.

Building a green home does not have to mean spending a lot more or sacrificing beautiful design or desirable amenities.

ecoEdge Consulting, a San Jose-based green building consultant, recently completed a green scorecard for the northern California Energy Star home of Michel Langlois. The home received 175 points on Build It Green's GreenPoint Rated checklist for single family homes, putting it in the top 1 percent of nearly 650 homes rated. The house was also Energy Star-rated, receiving 5+ Stars on the Energy Star homes rating scale.

The newly built home, on Cherry Avenue in Willow Glen (a San Jose neighborhood), CA, will be open to the public on the Build It Green Home Tour for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties on September 28, 2008. For more information on the Energy Star Homes Tour, go to:

The home has significant energy and health benefits, including:

  • 5.4 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system should produce nearly all of the electricity used by the home
  • 40% more energy efficient than a standard California home (based on Title 24 energy calculations)
  • Recycled content cotton and spray foam insulation to improve comfort and energy efficiency
  • Heating and cooling system designed for superior energy efficiency (duct sealing to reduce air leakage; 18 SEER air conditioner and 95% efficient furnace)

Health and indoor air quality:

  • High indoor air quality with state-of-the-art whole-house air ventilation
  • Health conscious no-VOC and low VOC interior paint
  • Garage sealed to prevent fumes from polluting home's interior

According to builder Lorrie Broderick, the green home was not significantly more expensive than a standard California custom home. Only the addition of the 5.4 kW solar electric system added significant expense, but the solar system, along with other energy-saving features, such as an upgrade to spray foam insulation, will keep energy costs down and make the Energy Star home healthier and more comfortable.

For more information about the home's green features, please visit:

"It's a great design and the idea that I could generate energy and feed the grid was appealing to me," said homeowner Michel Langlois. "I was surprised just how many efficiencies I could realize and still not be forced to make significant lifestyle changes."

"Build It Green has issued GreenPoint Rated certifcates for 649 homes and multifamily units and has more than 11,000 additional housing units in the pipeline," said Brian Gitt, Executive Director, Build It Green. "The Cherry Avenue house demonstrates that getting projects GreenPoint Rated not only adds market value but also helps sell homes quicker."

About the Home
The 3,570-square-foot Arts and Crafts home features an open floor plan with hardwood throughout, five bedrooms, three and a half baths, a family room with eighteen foot ceilings, spacious kitchen with multi-level island, media room, wine cellar and exercise room, and whole-house audio and intercom.

The Energy Star home is in walking distance to shopping, the Willow Glen Library and Willow Glen Elementary School.

"A green home does not mean that you have to compromise your lifestyle and live without modern comfort," says Uwe Heine, president and CEO of ecoEdge Consulting, which provided green building consulting services for the project. "As the Cherry Avenue home clearly demonstrates, green can be upscale, energy efficient, healthier and more comfortable. And at the same time you can feel good about doing something positive for the planet."

ecoEdge Consulting, Inc. is a leader in creating environmentally sensitive, energy-efficient green homes and buildings. We employ advanced technologies and proven building sciences to transform buildings into healthier, more comfortable and cost-efficient environments, that tread more lightly on planet Earth. For more information about our consulting, rating, auditing and testing services, visit


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