White Plains’ First LEED Home Part of Das Haus Tour

The 3,000 sq. ft. home at 64 Holbrooke Rd. will be on display as a part of the German traveling pavilion to spur international talk on energy efficient technology and solar energy use.

Gerry Angel has been out of her house of more than 30 years, at 64 Holbrooke Rd., since December. However, she says it will have been worth the wait when she moves back in at the end of July. 

This is because the 1953 ranch-style home has been fully renovated to work with nature instead of against it.

“I can’t wait to live in it,” said an ecstatic Angel, a real estate broker with Keller Williams NY Realty. “You walk into that house and you just feel a difference in the insulation. It is so quiet there, and it just feels so healthy!”

The environmentally conscious home is the third in Westchester and first in White Plains to be Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, a designation by the U.S. Green Building Council. Angel’s home is expected to receive a LEED for Homes Gold rating when it is completed.

An open house at 64 Holbrooke Rd. will be held on Saturday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition to a tour, attendees can talk to the professionals behind the build—including Christina Griffin Architect, PC and Murphy Brothers Contracting—as well as eco-friendly vendors—like Green Star Energy Solutions, Total Green, Authentic Window Design, Sunrise Solar Systems and Greener by Design—who can advise attendees how they can make eco-friendly adjustments to their homes that save energy and cut costs. 

The City of White Plains is providing bus transportation between the White Plains LEED for Homes project and the Das Haus Tour, featuring the Das Haus Pavilion, a “passive house”, in the parking lot at 125 Court St. from July 10 to July 19. 

The traveling exhibition is on its North American tour to share German ideas on sustainable construction (click on the PDF for more information in the brochure). The pavilion is made solely using sustainable features, including specialized insulation, heat recovery ventilations and cooling, triple-pane windows and solar technology. 

Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.

Coincidentally, Christina Griffin of Christina Griffin Architect, PC based in Hasting-on-Hudson, is currently taking courses for a certification to be a passive house consultant.

“I wanted to learn that technology and it’s just been a total awakening for me,” said Griffin. “You actually use physics to decide how you handle insulation and air tightness and use it as a design tool, so you end up with a super energy efficient building, so that you don’t need energy to heat that building.” 

Among 64 Holbrooke’s green features is its air tightness rating of 28, which means it is 72 percent more efficient than a conventional house, according to Griffin.

To achieve its Gold LEED certification, Angel’s home has been renovated to include:

  • energy saving spray foam insulation
  • geo-thermal heating and cooling; that heats the home and water, and supplies air conditioning
  • heat recovery ventilation that maintains a healthy indoor air climate
  • custom energy efficient windows
  • solar panels, which covers all of the home’s electricity use
  • LED and fluorescent lighting
  • water saving fixtures
  • sustainable landscaping, using drought resistant native plants that are irrigated by a rain harvesting collection system for water efficiency
  • an open space layout that uses daylight to reduce need for electrical fixtures
  • paint that is free of volitile organic compounds (VOCs) 
  • formaldehyde free cabinetry

Angel—who is a certified “eco-broker” that has credentials to educate clients on green technology incentives and real estate—said she is pleased with the attention her home has been getting, as she hoped the LEED certification would serve as an inspiration to other homeowners.

She even started a blog for her neighbors at westchestergreenluxury.tumblr.com.

“They [her neighbors] are so excited about it and they want to know about it,” said Angel. “One of my neighbors put insulation in his home home, another was inquiring about the geothermal and the solar. So, it’s really interested how it’s [her home's eco-friendly features] encouraged others to adopt green technology.” 

While Angel said that using sustainable construction could become expensive (the cost of her driveway rose from $3,000 to $10,000 with the use of eco-friendly materials), however there are federal and state tax credits that can make those costs more reasonable. Contractors who perform the work can also help homeowners identify and go through the tax credit process.

Angel will also save money through energy savings, as her energy costs for running the house will shrink from around $1,350 a month to $90 a month.

“I believe all of us have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint and create a sustainable environment,” said Angel. “We are just a very wasteful nation and I think it’s important we become aware of it, and do our part to reduce that kind of waste and do more to live energy efficiently.”

Michael Murphy—the director of new project development for Murphy Brothers Contracting, based in Mamaroneck—said another way to incorporate energy saving technology is considering energy efficient alternatives when making necessary upgrades to your home.

“If someone didn’t want to do a major renovation you could get an energy audit,” said Murphy. “Energy auditors can make recommendations on basic projects that could make your home more energy efficient than it is now.”

While green building is popular in Illinois, Maine, the South, and North West—Angel says that New York is slowly taking it on, but taking it on nonetheless. Griffin and Murphy says that more and more of their customers are asking for eco-friendly features.

Like us on  Facebook  (facebook.com/WhitePlainsPatch) and follow us on  Twitter (twitter.com/WhtPlainsPatch)

Carolyn Schoemer July 10, 2012 at 02:11 PM
This will be an educational open house for the public to learn about green technology.
Alessandra Blair July 10, 2012 at 06:28 PM
If you can't afford a LEED house, then use endangered species CONDOMS everytime you have sex to prevent pregnancy. A study done in London shows that birth control is around 15 times as effective in preventing enviro damage as is Green living and working on the individual enviro issues that everyone is narrowly focusing on. Byreducing the population, we stand a better chance of saving all life on Earth. Population is the multiplier of enviro damage. Mathematically, reducing the population is, therefore, the best way of reducing harm to the environment. LEED alone is simply not enough considering that the human population is growing, causing enviro damage that outpaces LEED efforts, which are comparatively tiny, although qualitatively nice.
Dina Sciortino July 10, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Wow. I think I'd rather just not eat meat (also good for the environment and is the world's "best chance" at climate change according to Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/michellemaisto/2012/04/28/eating-less-meat-is-worlds-best-chance-for-timely-climate-change-say-experts/) and take a variety of steps to reduce my carbon footprint. I don't think I've heard anyone say that LEED building alone will end climate change. I think a variety of methods should be used. Reducing the human population just sounds extreme and like China. I feel like less people are opting to have kids these days anyway. If we stop having children then who will be qualified to properly lead us into a better future?
Doris L. Sassower July 11, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Perhaps Gerry Angel would be good enough to tell me whether this exciting new concept could be made feasible for greening Historic Soundview Manor so as to Save the Manor for Posterity, which has been MY dream of many years. Doris L. Sassower, Resident Owner Soundview Manor, www.soundviewmanor.com 283 Soundview Avenue, White Plains NY 10606
Gerry Angel July 11, 2012 at 09:20 AM
I totally agree with Dina in that there are many ways in which each individual can help to reduce their carbon footprint & contribute to creating a sustainable environment. Birth control as suggested by Alessandro is one option but leading by example & educating the children we do have & will have to adopt a "Green" mindset if you will are important contributions to creating a more sustainable universe. Personally I feel an individual who adopts even one "GREEN" habit, product or texhnology should be applauded & supported because invariably it will lead to a more "Green" mindset which is ultimately the goal to creating a healthier sustainable environment for future generations. LEED is not for everyone but it does serve as a consciousness-raising process. And like parenting, ithat process has standards and guidelines that function to create an "environment" where one can achieve a goal - a Green living environment albeit rated Silver, Gold or Platinum. But again it's only one option. Hopefully my house serves as an inspiration to others who may only want to adopt just one Green technology. It's a step in the right direction.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »