Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Green Homes Tour

I'm part of the Takoma Green Homes Tour this Sunday, October 5. The tour was announced to be from 11am – 5pm, though I'll be open from 10am – 2pm so that I can go to the Takoma Park Street Fair and volunteer with the Takoma Hort Club Bulb Sale fundraiser booth in the afternoon there.

My whole home is technically "recycled" since it was a former Pepco substation meant to just look like a home and blend in with the neighborhood. In the early 1970s, Pepco centralized their power plants and sold off the substations to developers who converted them to actual houses. It has unique features like a concrete roof (covered by fancy New England slate), a large unused chimney, and very thick walls. Not sure how much I'll let folks see of the inside of my home. I plan on showing mostly my outdoor features like being a certified wildlife habitat and water-conservation.

Come explore a wide range of energy saving and green construction in over 15 Takoma Park-area homes – from small-scale energy efficiency retrofits, to green additions to new construction. The focus of the tour is to demonstrate changes everyone can make in their homes and yards, especially as it relates to saving energy.There is no fee to attend though please consider making a donation of any amount at any of the houses you visit to help cover expenses and support future tours. Many of the homes on the Takoma Park Green Homes Tour are within a 1-2 mile radius, making it convenient to walk or bike to them, all in one afternoon. And if you can't make it, get the online tour guides anyway which are full of education, inspiration and local green building resources.To get your copy of the tour guide, visit: http://saveoursky.com/housetour08.aspx

The Takoma Park Green Home Tour will be highlighting more green building features – from energy efficiency and conservation, to non-toxic and salvaged materials, to corn stoves, biodiesel furnaces and cars, to green roofs, rain gardens, storm water management and native landscaping. When making a green or solar home, your best first step is energy efficiency, so that when you invest in more expensive solar technology your system size requirements can be smaller. Many of the homes on the green tour will emphasize cost-effective home improvements that will pay for themselves within 5-10 years and save money every year afterward. With rising energy costs and increasing effects of global warming, it’s more important than ever to learn about and implement these changes, big and small. For more information and to get your copy of the tour guide, visit: http://saveoursky.com/housetour08.aspx

The Green Homes Tour is a sub-tour of the DC Solar Homes Tour. If you want to see even more homes with a focus on solar features, and some that are open on Saturday the 4th, visit http://www.solartour.org/ . The Solar Tour is open Sat and Sun, Oct 4 and 5 and features over 50 homes in the Greater DC area.

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