Why did you choose the path to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified? Did you sense it was a sound business decision, or did you have a more personal or social motivation for gravitating to green design?
I chose to seek my certification for a personal belief that there is a better way to design. Growing up building houses with my father, I was aware that the amount of material being discarded would be enough to build another structure. It concerned me how much of the building material used to build a home is waste.
A home you designed in Bloomfield Hills was only the second residence in Michigan at the time to receive the LEED Platinum rating (the highest) from the U.S. Green Building Council. Could you briefly describe some of the home’s attributes that contributed to that stellar rating?
To qualify for such a rating is more than just using green technology like solar and geothermal and energy-efficient lighting. It was in the entire design process of the home, down to the last detail.
Some people think you can’t have an elegant home with being so green, but that’s not true. In this home nothing was wasted, from how it was oriented on the lot to using indigenous grasses and plants. We used sustainably grown and harvested teak wood floors, geothermal wells, and solar panels. Even the wallpaper detail in the skylight well was designed so no material was wasted. What was left over from the floor was used in the ceiling. It’s not only a beautiful detail but it helps acoustically.
It’s not enough to know that you’re designing green, but that where you’re sourcing your material from is also ecologically conscious.