Homes LEEDing the Way to Sustainability and Resiliency

Winners of the U.S. Green Building Council's 2020 LEED Homes Awards for single-family residential projects

September 1, 2020
Drone view of Green Phoenix Development's renovation of a century-old New England farmhouse that is certified LEED Platinum
This renovation by Green Phoenix Development of a century-old New England farmhouse is certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council. | Photo: Greg Premru Photography

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Homes Awards recognize LEED-certified residential projects that are having a positive impact on communities through sustainable, healthy, and resilient design, as well as builders and developers that are helping to advance green home building. These are the single-family homes USGBC deemed outstanding in 2020.

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LEED Platinum New England Farmhouse

This preserved, historical 1897 farmhouse in Weston, Mass., by Green Phoenix Development, of nearby Newton, was certified LEED Platinum, as the gut rehab was able to divert 94% of demolition and construction waste material from landfill. That's more than 13 tons of interior fixtures, appliances, and building materials salvaged for reuse.

 

Front exterior view of Green Phoenix Development's LEED Platinum farmhouse renovation
View of the home's front elevation. The lawns are a locally produced hybrid grass, which requires minimal water and no chemicals. | Photo: Greg Premru Photography

 

 

Rear exterior view of Green Phoenix Development's LEED Platinum farmhouse renovation
Green Phoenix Development reused most of the existing structure while expanding it harmoniously in a New England vernacular style. The design had to appear organic and natural on the site, satisfy the town’s Historical Commission guidelines, be beautiful and high quality, and meet the lifestyle expectations of contemporary families. | Photo: Greg Premru Photography

 

 

Kitchen island in Green Phoenix Development' LEED Platinum farmhouse renovation
Occupant health was another key design factor. An oversized range hood, interlocked makeup air, and negative-pressure power vented fireplaces, negate potential pollutant sources and are features rarely found in comparable homes. | Photo: Greg Premru Photography

 

Extensive use of low-VOC and low-formaldehyde materials throughout the home’s interior, three separate energy recovery ventilator systems with high-efficiency filters, and meticulous installation and commissioning of a 10-zone air source heat pump system helped the home earn EPA Indoor airPLUS certification.

 

Kitchen and living space in Green Phoenix Development's LEED Platinum farmhouse renovation
The home's kitchen and living spaces are open plan and maximize natural light with plenty of windows. | Photo: Greg Premru Photography

 

The home, which totals 7,640 square feet, was carefully designed to maximize natural interior light, provide plentiful space for exercise and meditation, and accommodate two mudrooms to maximize interior cleanliness. This home stands out for its dedication to healthy living.

A suite of intuitive apps provide control and monitoring. These systems also track major individual electrical loads, check indoor air quality (including carbon diooxide and VOCs), detect plumbing leaks and high sump levels, and track the performance of the solar photovoltaic array. This unique technology package enhances the home’s sustainability.

 

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LEED Platinum Dallas Show House

Interior designer Adrienne Akin Faulkner, CEO and chief creative office of Faulkner Design Group, and architect Gary Gene Olp, director of GGO Architects, both Dallas firms, holistically designed Greenlab to lead by example. This show house demonstrates how intentionally integrating smart systems and green technology early on in development can reduce a property's carbon footprint, while also including the burgeoning concept of aging in place, known as universal design. This home is a marriage of form and function, elevating comfort for all ages and abilities. (All photos by Green Sofa Productions.)

 

Front facade of the LEED Platinum Greenlab show house in Dallas

 

Materials  for Greenlab, another LEED Platinum home, were largely recycled, and its high-performance thermal shell provides peak comfort when heating or cooling systems are off. The building envelope includes a thermosyphon ventilated roof and whole house open cell expanding foam for insulation. 

 

Outdoor living space at the LEED Platinum Greenlab show house in Dallas

 

An innovative filtration system provides purified water and an irrigation process captures, filters and utilizes graywater alongside a rainwater harvesting system to support the native xeriscape landscape.

 

Exterior view of the LEED Platinum Greenlab show house in Dallas

 

It promotes the burgeoning concept of aging in place and includes a wheelchair ramp ... 

 

The home office flex space in the LEED Platinum Greenlab show home in Dallas.

 

zero thresholds, smooth sliding doors, ADA-compliant counters and doorways ...

 

Universal design in the bathroom of the LEED platinum Greenlab show house in Dallas

 

curbless showers ...

 

LEED Platinum kitchen in the Greenlab showhouse in Dallas

 

side-opening appliances, and circadian rhythm LED lighting throughout the entire house. Greenlab shows how sustainability and universal design can work hand in hand while maintaining cost consistency.

 

The living room in the Greenlab Dallas showhouse

 

 

 

Sustainable LEED Gold Home on a Hillside

The Sikes Residence, a LEED Gold winner by Sol Design + Consulting, which has locations in Cincinnati and Cleveland, started with a unique site: an infill lot in Cincinnati's historic Clifton Gaslight neighborhood. The site is within walking distance of a business district that has amenities such as a grocery store and movie theater, but is also adjacent to a leafy, secluded wooded area.

One reason the site hadn't been previously developed was its steep terrain and large existing trees, which are important to the community. As a result, site design for the project was paramount. (All photos courtesy Sol Design + Consulting.)

 

Exterior view of the LEED Gold Sikes Residence by Sol Design + Consulting
The 4,572-square-foot home is nestled into the hillside and is sited to preserve existing trees. The site has a minimal amount of conventional yard; most of the site is undisturbed or planted with low-maintenance native and adaptive species. The project is designed to manage 100% of its stormwater, mimicking the pre-development hydrology of the site.

 

 

Exterior view of the Sikes Residence by Sol Design + Consulting

 

The Sikes Residence was designed to be very energy efficient on a budget. Multiple wall assemblies were assessed using whole-building energy modeling and then priced by the contractor. The result is an assembly that uses 2x6 advanced framing, continuous rigid insulation, and has a high level of air-tightness

 

Sikes Residence entryway by Sol Design + Consulting

 

The home takes advantage of its natural surroundings with carefully framed views and ample daylight.

 

Rear view of Sol Design + Consulting's LEED Gold design for the Sikes Residence
The Sikes Residence's three-story deck and screened porch provide living space among the trees.

 

Sol Design + Consulting LEED Gold kitchen in the Sikes Residence

 

Some of the project's other important sustainable design features include: water-efficient fixtures and appliances; locally sourced materials, such as the hardwood flooring; and low-emitting materials. The home is designed to accommodate a future green roof over the garage, and future solar panels on the south-facing main roof.

 

The living room of the LEED Gold Sikes Residence designed by Sol Design + Consulting
Efficient lighting, appliances, and HVAC equipment round out the efficiency strategies at the Sikes Residence. | Photo: courtesy Sol Design + Consulting 

 

 

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