First visitors inspired by Proud Green Home at Serenbe (Photos)

First visitors inspired by Proud Green Home at Serenbe (Photos)

Story and photos by Steve Arel.

Don Dressel recently managed restoration projects for the housing authority in Decatur, Ga., where 70-year-old structures were given new life as much-needed public housing.

Making the hour-long trek south to Serenbe on Friday to see the Proud Green Home wasn’t about necessarily trying to discover new ways of building. Dressel, who has become fascinated by green-building and home performance, wanted to get a better idea of the type of home he wants as he and his wife near retirement.

“My wife is interested in where it is; for me it is what it is,” he said. “This is high quality and well done. There’s so much volume, and yet it can be so efficient.”

Don Dressel, program manager for Decatur (Ga.) Housing Authority, looks a placards detailing various deep green elements used in the Proud Green Home at Serenbe during its open house Friday.

Dozens of people visited the Proud Green Home at Serenbe on Friday, the first of a two-day public open house. The event attracted people from throughout the region, from residents neighboring the home, to curious builders constructing homes in the community, to passers-by.

Amy Westwood, technical advisor for Celebration Associates in Winter Garden, Fla., uses an iPad to learn about the Proud Green Home during its open house Friday.

Jim and Sandy and Keeter were on the way back to their home in Winter Springs, Fla., after vacationing in Maine. On the drive down, they decided to stop by undeveloped property they own in Chattahoochee Hills near Serenbe and noticed the open house as they made their way along the road.

“I love it,” Sandy Keeter said as she walked through a vast first-floor bathroom of the Proud Green Home outfitted with closets, a double sink, double showerheads surrounded by a glass enclosure and a high-tech Kohler toilet system that features a heated seat and even speaks.

From left, Chuck Saleeby, Toney Martin and Ryan Dufee, who are designing and building a home not far down the street from the Proud Green Home, stopped by the home during Friday open house to get a look at the finished product.

Though they’re not yet ready to retire, the Keeters said they’re interested in perhaps someday settling in a quiet, active community like Serenbe, where a collective focus on the environment and high-performance homes exists.

“I’ve always wanted something more efficient,” said Sandy, adding that the couple’s current home is considerably inefficient. “That’s the way the world is going. It’s happening all around us.”

Tom Reed, Chattahoochee Hills mayor and Serenbe resident, uses an iPad to learn about the different aspects of the Proud Green Home during its open house Friday.

The mayor of Chattahoochee Hills and Serenbe resident Tom Reed made a visit as well. He said the Proud Green Home, a 2,570-square-foot development, would go a long way in generating positive interest in the structure, as well as in his community.

“The kind of people interested in this home are the kind of people this community resonates with,” he said.

The Proud Green Home, with its dark brick-and-metal façade and contemporary design meshes well with the homes surrounding it.

From left, Lance McGarvey of Proud Green shows Amy Westwood, technical advisor for Celebration Associates, how to use an iPad to learn about the Proud Green Home during its open house Friday.

Just ask Heath Daughtrey, whose contemporary-designed home sits next door to the Proud Green Home. Having seen the building’s evolution from when the lot was first grazed, he wanted to see the finished product.

“The intersection of contemporary design and green construction makes this intriguing,” Daughtrey said. “I like it. They made good use of the space.”

Daughtrey’s motives for visiting the Proud Green Home on Friday were two-fold: He also hoped to persuade his friend, Jason Yip, to move closer.

Dan Wise of Grand Design Group in Pennsylvania reads a manufacturer's brochure during Friday's open house, as seen through a glass model displaying the home's ventilation system.

“You definitely get more bang for your buck,” said Yip, who lives in Los Angeles and wasn’t ready to commit. “These places are just fantastic.”

Read more about the Proud Green Home at Serenbe.

Topics: Building Green, GREAT GREEN HOMES, Home Design & Plans, Proud Green Home at Serenbe, Sustainability Trends & Statistics, Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Products

Companies: Southface Energy Institute, Kohler, BASF Corporation, PPG Pittsburgh Paints, Kleendeck, LLC, Serenbe Sustainable Community, LG Squared, Inc., The Imery Group, Benjamin Obdyke, Zehnder America, SmartBIM, Huber Engineered Woods, Wood-Mode, Inc.

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