the official word that the house he designed and built for Susie and Jerry had been awarded LEED Platinum certification—the highest LEED rating bestowed by the GBCI for environmental responsibility and an efficient use of resources. It was quite a coup for the homeowners, the architect, and the build team. Pleased as Susie is that her house is one of a relatively few in New Mexico with this distinction, her connection to it runs even deeper than its green sensibilities. When the community recently built a new well, old surveys were pulled out to figure out where best to drill. Susie was astonished to see a familiar name on the surveys. “This whole canyon is served by community wells, and my father, who was a groundwater geologist, did all those hydrology surveys in this whole area 40 years ago,” she says. “I feel like I’ve been reborn. I am home.”
Susie and Jerry’s eclectic art and furnishings reflect their shared history as global travelers. The sunroom, whose décor Jerry winkingly refers to as “Asian-Africanpawn-shop–inspired,” is separated gently from the main living areas and takes full advantage of the spectacular southern views.
the highest honor
Here are just a few of the green and earth-friendly features that earned this home LEED Platinum certification. ENERGY-SAVING FEATURES: Solar powered and heated Solar hot water panels Solar cell system High-efficiency boiler and water heater High-efficiency light fixtures with dimmers High-efficiency appliances Extra-thick insulation Optimal placement for solar gain Interior adobe walls No air conditioning necessary
Hung in a place of honor within an exposed adobe wall at the entrance to the home is a well-traveled bell that Susie purchased in Shanghai. It spent some time in Bangkok before coming to New Mexico.
WATER-SAVING FEATURES: Low-flow fixtures Efficient irrigation system Xeriscaping Rain runoff capture Minimal paving Collection of rain and snow off roof
GREEN CONSTRUCTION FEATURES: Quality materials and construction techniques High-efficiency quality windows Forest-friendly framing Reusable building materials Recycled/reclaimed materials Tight site Non-toxic pest control INDOOR AIR QUALITY FEATURES: Efficient ventilation Garage ventilation Radiant heat valves