In West Hollywood, homebuyers are willing to pay for exclusive modernist homes without much thought to their carbon footprint. But builder Mayer Dahan is building green anyway, exceeding the strict local green building codes.
Dahan runs Dahan Properties and is co-founder and managing partner of Prime Five Homes, a Los Angeles-based company that develops and builds stunning modernist homes in the exclusive enclave of West Hollywood.
It's not easy going green there. West Hollywood has its own green building code in addition to California's already stringent Title 24 building code.
Dahan's homes meet or exceed most other building codes such as Energy Star, even though his high-end clientele doesn't always think about the environment when they're looking for a home.
|Prime Five home on Laurel Drive in West Hollywood|
"The way I build green the homeowner doesn't necessarily know the wood floor is reclaimed or the tile is recycled, but they appreciate the beauty in it," Dahan said in an interview with ProudGreenHome.com.
Dahan typically builds homes to meet the green codes as well as his own personal vision of green building, and the market seems to value his approach. He doesn't necessarily promote his homes as green, instead relying on the ultramodern design and luxury finishes to entice buyers. They get the green aspects as a bonus, without necessarily knowing the cost of the upgrades to the house.
|The kitchen in the home on Laurel Drive.|
"I think part of me forces the consumer to take a green house because that's what I want," Dahan said. "Once I build a house the consumer is willing to pay whatever the price is. I always get my cost out of a home."
Dahan's homes are typically built on a redevelopment site often occupied by an existing home and he salvages as much as possible, recycling windows, doors, fixtures, wood, tile and metal in order to conserve valuable materials.
Green living is applied to interior design as well. Recycled Italian tiles, reclaimed wood, in-line heaters and low-flow water systems are among the eco-friendly interior amenities.
Dahan Properties installs SolarCity’s energy-efficient solar panels. Unlike typical solar panels that aren’t aesthetically appealing, SolarCity’s SleekMount is seamless, durable, simple and eco-friendly.
Dahan builds the green aspects into the price of the home so the buyer doesn't know what, if any, premium there might be. Dahan estimates the cost of using recycled materials and other green aspects might add $100,000 the cost of a million-plus-dollar home.
"If a homeowner finds out the cost of certain things they have a tendency to withdraw from it, but if you include it in the cost of the house they never see it any way," he said. "They don't understand the house has a low carbon footprint and that's the benefit of it.
[Photos courtesy Dahan Properties.]
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/ Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky.