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The Housing Market Goes Green
When Barry Katz saw Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth he knew he could better the planet by more than simply buying a pack of compact fluorescent light bulbs. The Westport builder decided that the next high-end spec home he would develop would be green and, today, that house stands at 122 Bayberry Lane in Westport, listed for $3.7 million. A huge part of the process was sourcing green systems, fixtures and building materials—a wealth of knowledge Katz is using to establish GreenTek Consulting, a new business venture "to show people how to make their homes more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and healthier to live in," he says.
Meanwhile, back on Bayberry, the most surprising aspect of this green-built home is that it "looks as if it has been here 100 years," says Barry's wife, Susan Katz, who is also the property's listing broker. The cedar-clapboard exterior is painted a pristine white (using a no-VOC paint) and is adorned with traditional shutters, columns and gables. The three-car garage is constructed to look like a Yankee barn. "This is 'crunchy granola' for people who want a traditional-looking house," says Susan, who is well versed in the 5,750-square-foot home's many eco-efficiencies. From top to bottom: the roofing shingles are coated with 3-M granules that deflect the sun's heat; the lumber was sustainably sourced; the insulation material is made of soy beans; the Marvin windows feature Low-E insulated glass, filled with argon; and in the basement, the geothermal heat and air conditioning system burns no gas or oil. Inside, the floors are constructed of bamboo and cork, two renewable resources. Dual-flush toilets and a hot-water recirculation system save tens of thousands of gallons of water every year. The appliances are all EnergyStar rated, and of course, the bulbs are compact fluorescent.
Susan Katz is with Coldwell Banker Riverside Shavell in Westport (203-227-8424); visit Barry Katz' website for green tips for your home at www.katzhome.com.