Paul Shahriari built his dream home in Florida, starting in an unusual way. He bought a small home in foreclosure that was in dire need of repair.
The home, built in 1968, was approximately 1,700 square feet and in need of insulation, a new roof and many other renovations. He has a website that shares the details of the remodel of his house to turn it green.
"I wanted to leave the planet better than when I was born in the mid-70's. I realized this is a really tough process so we built the website to share our experience," Shahriari said. He is the senior vice president, strategy, for SMARTBIM.
The website for the home, which he named the Florida High Performance Green House, focuses on the cost and benefits of green building. The first costs and life cycle benefits of the major elements of the home are analyzed and featured on the website.
As he states on the website, "the goal of this project is to demystify the green decision making involved with designing, building and/or renovating a home. We are using sustainability's triple bottom line structure (environment, economic, social) to make decisions that are both good for the environment and the economics of the family. Our social goal is to share our experience with our community and to help them evaluate the best greenovation options for their families and homes."
He points out that the home is "not the greenest house in the country," but it saves energy and water to the tune of about $300 a month for a home without green features, and a total of $800 a month for energy, water and insurance savings.
The home's renovations include energy-efficient windows, solar panels and ICF concrete filled walls for insulation.
He looks at the home as an investment in his future. "My house is a mutual fund, and my portfolio is everything I put into my house — Bosch appliances, LED lights, windows."
For more information, see our Building a Green Home research center.