New House Showcases Benefits of Green Building

Daily Reporter Staff Writer 

Twelve solar panels were installed by Athens, Ohio-based Third Sun Solar & Wind Power on a home in the King-Lincoln District yesterday as Mayor Michael Coleman and others looked on. 

The house, which is still under construction at 258 N. 21st St., has the potential to serve as an example of eco-friendly building at its finest, as its developers are seeking Leadership in Energy and Environ-mental Design platinum certification - the nation's highest standard for green building. 

"'Getting green' means a lot of things, but one that can save families the most money is taking steps to make our homes more energy efficient," Coleman said. 

"I applaud all the partners involved in this project, because they are showing the way for others to start being smarter about our construction or reconstruction of homes to maximize efficiency and minimize our environmental impact." 

The Columbus Green Building Forum, a local organization dedicated to promoting energy-efficient and environment-friendly building practices in Central Ohio, and HOME Base, an educational initiative that teaches Worthington Kilbourne High School students the building trade, collaborated on the home's design and completed the LEED application. 

Meanwhile, non-profit affordable housing developer Columbus Housing Partnership provided technical expertise to help ensure the affordability and marketability of the home to low- and moderate-income buyers. Its sale price has not yet been determined. 

The home is one of five "green" houses being built at Columbus Housing Partnership's development in the North of Broad neighborhood and is being funded through financial support from CHP, American Electric Power, Limited Brands, Home Depot, and the city of Columbus. 

Construction of the home's exterior is complete and work on its interior likely will wrap in just a few months, said Paul Haggard, director of resource development at CHP. 

The home, which will use up to 60 percent less energy than a traditional house of a similar design, features an Apricus solar thermal system, advanced framing that diminished the amount of wood used for construction, a rain garden to keep storm runoff on site and out of the watershed, triple pane high-performing windows, low-flow toilets, "green" cabinetry, and landscaping that includes native drought resistant plants. 

Even the home's building process was eco-friendly as a site-based solar electrical generation system was used to supply all the electricity needed for construction. 

Upon achieving platinum certification, the house will be one of only two in the country to meet that standard, Haggard said. The other, built by LivingHomes, is located in Santa Monica, Calif. 

One of the most exciting aspects of the project is that it will serve as a demo for affordable, environmentally-sound residential development in an urban setting, Haggard added. 

The LEED Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.