THE HOME AND REAL ESTATE MAGAZINE FOR SMARTER LIVING SM
august 2010 a scheinmedia publication newyorkhousemagazine.com
Ally and Jaimie Hilfiger find serenity among the river stones, bamboo, and Japanese maples in the garden of Allyâ€™s Manhattan home.
The Young Hilfiger Generation
Ally and Jaimie have designed a healthy and eco-conscious lifestyle and are serving as models for others. p24
real estate listings p43
Ev er y
energy conservation tips p34
ecofriendly flooring options p28
Buyerâ€™s guide to modular and prefab homes p20
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Country Charm. Designed for a Greener World.
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MANHATTAN A&D Building 150 E. 58th St. 212.688.5990 96 Spring St. 212.680.9000 207 E. 119th St. 212.369.2000 LONG ISLAND 222 Rte. 109 Farmingdale 631.391.9506 75 Garden St. Westbury 516.997.9200 WESTCHESTER 369 Lexington Ave. Mt. Kisco 914.666.5127 QUEENS 57-22 49th St. 718.937.9500
SHOWROOM, REVOLUTIONIZED. SERVICE, EPITOMIZED. Davis & Warshow presents its new award-winning, expanded and re-imagined showroom in the A&D Building. This new showroom experience offers architects and designers a vibrant and exciting presentation of kitchen and bath products in an environment that encourages in-depth interaction. For over 80 years, architects and designers have relied on Davis & Warshowâ€™s unparalleled service to help them achieve results that inspire. Stop by and experience it today.
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Jeff Gordon’s office is a bit more extreme than most. It’s hot. It’s loud. You don’t want to know what he spends on gas. So when Jeff gets home, he wants to be comfortable without spending a fortune on fuel. That’s why when it was time to decide how to condition his house, Jeff chose a WaterFurnace geothermal heat pump. A WaterFurnace geothermal system uses the clean, renewable energy stored in your backyard to save up to 70% on heating, cooling and hot water. It’s the environmental equivalent to planting an acre of trees or taking two cars off the road. It’s good for the environment, it’s great for your budget and thanks to a 30% federal tax credit, now is the best time to act. Visit waterfurnace.com for more information and to find a local dealer.
visit us at waterfurnace.com 4 NEW YORK HOUSEis /a August WaterFurnace registered2010 trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. ©2009 Jeff Gordon, Inc. The name, likeness and signature of Jeff Gordon are used with the permission of Jeff Gordon, Inc.
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6 NEW YORK HOUSE / August 2010
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contents / august 2010 Volume 8, Issue 2
Features 20 building blocks
Prefabricated, modular, factory-built—all these homes offer sustainable attributes and quality not found in stick-built homes.
by kim plummer; photographs provided
24 The Young Hilfiger generation Ally and Jaimie have designed a healthy and eco-conscious lifestyle and are serving as models for others.
by meghan zanetich; photographs by stephen sullivan
28 small FootPrint
Ecofriendly, durable flooring options abound for any room in the home—and any budget.
by meghan zanetich; photographs provided
24 Also in this Issue: 30 Inheriting green A former Staten Island resident adopts an earthfriendly lifestyle after buying a super-efficient, sustainable home in Woodstock.
42 Expert Advice: Energy conservation starts at home From making simple behavioral changes to whole-home retrofits, every New Yorker has the power to save energy and money.
stephen sullivan; deborah degraffenreid; photographs provided (2)
The Markets 43 REal Estate Listings 57 index of advertisers
Departments 10 from the editor 10 publisher’s note 12 entryway 14 live/work 16 Green events 26 what you don’t know 36 on the web 38 inner space 40 our green future 58 back porch newyorkhousemagazine.com 9
from the publisher and editor
Time to Rethink Energy Policy The good news as of press time is the spill at the Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is plugged up. Whether it holds or not will remain to be seen and what will ultimately be done with the well is also unknown. However, it’s a great piece of news after ninety days of this environmentally devastating disaster. For years there will be damning accusations back and forth about whose fault this is and who is responsible for the clean-up as well as financial reparations At this point we have an opportunity to, once again, engage in a true conversation about this country’s energy policy. In other words, where do we go from here? After the Three Mile Island facility accident in 1979, the reaction was not to build any additional nuclear reactors. For more than three decades we have become more and more dependent on coal, oil, and other fossil fuels. And although nuclear power certainly wasn’t the only solution, the response to that accident held back research and
development for a technology that did not contribute to greenhouse gases on the level of the energy sources we depend on today. Of course, the issue of radioactive waste is not to be taken lightly. However, perhaps a more measured response to what happened in Harrisburg, PA would not have left us where we are today. And this brings us back to the disaster in the Gulf. What will the reaction be and where will it lead us in the future? Will we find ourselves in the same place we did back in 1979 where the reaction is so severe that we can’t manage our way to a more sensible policy? This edition of New York House is our Energy Issue and hopes to address some of these perplexing questions. While the Gulf of Mexico is far away, this is a very local issue that needs to be considered carefully.
Jonathan A. Schein Read columns by Jonathan A. Schein on huffingtonpost.com
Publisher Jonathan A. Schein Editor Nancy Meyer Ar t Director Julie Novak Editorial Interns Kim Plummer, Meghan Zanetich Production Director Jessica Housen Contributing Designers Sheri DePuy, Rebecca Young Proofreader Nancy Graham Contributors Rebecca Rego Barry, Sarah Charlop-Powers, Eric Francis Coppolino, Deborah Degraffenreid, Stephen Sullivan Sales & Marketing Director Cynthia Kudren (845) 340-9600, ext. 110 firstname.lastname@example.org Account Executives Barbara Manson, (845) 926-6809 Randy Schein, (917) 685-7758 Sales & Marketing Assistant Molly Duguid Social Media Networking Intern Patrick Mattei
Power to Conserve Energy As a child, one of my favorite TV shows was “The Electric Company”—“we’re gonna turn it on; we’re gonna bring you the power…” Now, years later, I’m thinking of power and electricity in other ways—namely, turning it off; reducing my home’s power consumption. They say that everyone has the power to conserve energy—that small steps taken by many individuals add up to big steps toward reducing our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels. But it requires taking those steps. Last year we had an energy audit done on our home that revealed a long list of measures that would save energy and money over the long run. It was exciting but daunting at the same time—some of the projects carried hefty price tags and many of them had prerequisites: the water problem in the basement prevented us from insulating and air sealing; there was no reason to insulate the leaky metal roof since it needs to be replaced. We took a deep breath, reached into our savings account, and started on this journey toward a more energy efficient home. One year later, I’m happy to report some progress, but some frustration as well. Having installed a dry basement system (to the tune of 10 NEW YORK HOUSE / August 2010
$6K) we’re now addressing the leaky 125-year-old metal roof and the damage it’s caused inside and out. Once that’s done, we’ll tackle the spray foam insulation and air sealing projects. Meanwhile, we’ve reduced our heating oil consumption by 100 gallons over the year–simply by making small, low-cost changes—programming the thermostats, using thermal drapes, weather stripping, and sealing drafts around outlets and pipes. But my frustration comes from our inability to use renewable energy sources for our electricity and hot water. Two reputable solar suppliers told us outright our home was ill suited for solar (even if we cut down all the trees, the home doesn’t get enough southern exposure and has too many gables). But I’m not giving up hope—we may put a solar attic fan in the new roof, and I’ve starting looking at wind turbines. But whatever power source we end up with—it ultimately comes down to reducing consumption and turning off the power. As my husband likes to say, “save the juice, save the juice; turn it off when not in use.” Your neighbor,
Published by President & CEO Jonathan A. Schein Vice Chairman Gerald D. Schein Editorial Director Susan Piperato Finance Patricia I. Johnson Conferences Coordinator Tracey Glover NEW YORK HOUSE is published 12 times a year by ScheinMedia. ALL REAL ESTATE ADVERTISING IN NEW YORK HOUSE IS SUBJECT TO THE FAIR HOUSING ACT, WHICH MAKES IT ILLEGAL TO ADVERTISE “ANY PREFERENCE, LIMITATION, OR DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, HANDICAP, FAMILIAL STATUS, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN, OR AN INTENTION TO MAKE ANY SUCH PREFERENCE, LIMITATION, OR DISCRIMINATION.” NEW YORK HOUSE WILL NOT KNOWINGLY ACCEPT ADVERTISING THAT IS IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW. CONTENTS COPYRIGHT 2010 SCHEINMEDIA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NEITHER THIS PUBLICATION NOR ANY PART OF IT MAY BE REPRODUCED IN ANY FORM, BY ANY MEANS, WITHOUT THE PRIOR PERMISSION OF SCHEINMEDIA.
ADVERTISING DEADLINE The 9th of every month. Contact Cynthia Kudren (845) 340-9600, ext. 110 email@example.com Visit our website for more information: newyorkhousemagazine.com editorial SUBMISSIONS Send all queries and submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions are $19.95/year (12 issues). REPRINTS email@example.com ScheinMedia 233 Fair Street Kingston, NY 12401 New York City (845) 340-9600 (212) 675-9300 fax (845) 340-1470 firstname.lastname@example.org newyorkhousemagazine.com
Specialists in antique country homes and historic Hudson townhouses in New York’s Hudson Valley
This 5 BR, 1910 Colonial Revival in Catskill displays fine artisan details: wainscoting, crown moldings, mosaic tile work, oak floors and an impressive stair hall that spans all 3 floors. Enjoy summer on the porch or brick patio, and the glass enclosed solarium allows summer breezes and warm winter sun for year 'round use. On the Greene County Historic Register.
R EA L E S TAT E , I N C.
David Ludwig 518.943.7533 x11
Hudson River Views
Catskill Mountains rise behind the Hudson River to form a dramatic backdrop for this charming 2-story farmhouse on a bluff in Germantown overlooking the river. Large windows frame the spectacular views. Wood floors, old moldings, a reading/music room with a FP, a beautiful Arts & Crafts stairway and a location that’s conceivably one of the nicest in the area.
Adelia Geiger 845.757.5000 x12
The Wm. Lamoree House $750,000 This beautifully renovated pre-revolutionary farmhouse near Rhinebeck is 1 of only 3 living examples of Dutch one-anda-half architecture in Dutchess County. A massive fireplace clad in colonial pine, hand-hewn beams, wideboard floors, master BR w/FP and private rooftop deck, 18th century barn, and detached screened house, all on 26.5 acres with 3 ponds.
Gary DiMauro 845.757.5000 x11
Peacefully set on 5 acres at the edge of a field of wildflowers, this charming 2 BR, neo-gothic cottage is the perfect country escape. The open floor plan and lots of windows fill this 1400 sf house with light and the large pergola-covered deck is the perfect place to entertain or read quietly in the shade. Walk into the village of Tivoli for cocktails and dinner.
Lisa Thomas 845.757.5000 x14
Public School No.1
Claverack Country Modern $439,000
This 1,000 sf 2 BR contemporary saltbox is nestled in the woods on 3 lots in Copake’s Taconic Shores, just a stone’s throw from its 102 acre Robinson Pond. Go boating on the lake, sit on the white sand beach at the clubhouse, barbeque on the deck in summer, or ski at one of the nearby resorts and relax in front of your woodstove in winter.
This remarkable 1884 brick schoolhouse is in a historic district in New Baltimore. The original bronze school bell hangs in the copper cupola and other original architectural details remain throughout. Now an art studio and exhibition space, unlimited possibilities exist for this unique 5568 sf building. Zoned residential, commercial and mixed use.
On 3.2 wooded country acres in the southern Columbia County, this 2 BR mid-century house has been renovated with great style, including the sleek chef's dream kitchen and the downstairs bath. The open floorplan, the cozy woodstove, and the screened porch encourage comfortable entertaining. This charming home is perfect for country weekend living.
This unique 1920s renovated house is on a hill (on a dead end road) overlooking a small pond and waterfall and bordered by 2 streams. The peaceful 7.6 acres feature old stone walls, a garden area, and woods with a view of the Catskills. The open plan 4 BR, 2 BA home has a cozy fireplace, a stone patio, a large screened porch, and a separate studio/workshop.
Remarkable value is represented here by 3 floors of living area. The first floor of this Catskill Victorian has living and dining rooms, kitchen, laundry and half bath. The second floor has 3 BRs and a full bath. The wonderful loft-like space on the top floor is currently 2 BRs. Nice woodwork, hardwood and pine floors. Just enough back yard for a garden or patio.
Mary M. Mullane 518.822.0800 x14
David Ludwig 518.943.7533 x11
Kathy Duffy 518.822.0800 x11
Kathy Duffy 518.822.0800 x11
David King 518.822.0800 x12
For the biggest (and best) selection of Hudson properties:
58 Broadway, Tivoli NY
423 Warren St, Hudson NY
434 Main St, Catskill NY
August Awakens “There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” —Celia Thaxter
event listings Festival of the Voice August 13-15 Phoenicia
Join this three-day festival celebrating the glory of the human voice. Concer ts, recitals, opera, and theatrical presentations feature internationally acclaimed professionals and popular local performers. $20 Main Stage, $10 Church Recitals, $15 Broadway Musical Theater, Free Children’s Concert. August 13, 8:30pm-10:30pm; August 14, 11am-10:30pm; August 15, 2pm-5pm. Information (888) 214-3063. Tickets (845) 586-3588. phoeniciavoicefest.com
One gallon of gasoline emits nearly 19.4 pounds of CO2 into the air.
Festival of the Vegetables
RideRemedy, an iPhone application, gives users the tools to make connections and share rides anywhere at any time. Commuters can share rides to help reduce CO2 emissions, while saving money. The annual subscription price for sharing rides through this app is $4.99. Source: epa.gov (http://www.epa.gov/oms/climate/420f05001.htm)
August 14 & 15 Brooklyn
Join the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in celebration of its new herb garden. Dance poems by Rachael and Michael Kosch will be performed by dancing vegetables. Free with regular garden admission of $8. Daily at 2:30 & 3:30 pm. Brooklyn Botanic Garden. (718) 623-7260. bbg.org
Get ready to set sail on the classic pilot schooner for a two-hour sunset cruise through New York Harbor on August 17. This New York State Beer and Cheese Pairing Sail will have you cruising through the Hudson River while enjoying up to five New York state brewed beers expertly paired with three different New York state cheeses. Savor your hand-crafted brews while enjoying the New York City skyline, views of Battery Park, and the Statue of Liberty. Special guest hosts from local breweries will share insight, history, and beer-brewing tales.$75. August 17, 6-8pm. Manhattan, Chelsea Piers, Pier 62. (646) 336-5270. sail-nyc.com
Dave Farrow: Memory Expert August 19
— Compiled by Kim Plummer Please submit calendar items and books to Editor Nancy Meyer for consideration: email@example.com
12 new york house / August 2010
16th Artists’ Soapbox Derby August 22
Careen down Broadway towards the Rondout Creek in your homemade vehicle and help celebrate the derby’s Sweet 16. Prizes for first, second, and third place finisher in youth, family group, and adult divisions. Judging is based on combined score of creativity and engineering. $25 to enter, free for spectators. Derby starts at 1pm. Lower Broadway. (845) 338-8473. artistsoapboxderby.com
wikimedia commons; image provided; julie novak
In the past, factory-built homes have been associated with lowquality building or as a way to disguise mobile homes. However, in Prefabulous + Sustainable (Abrams, 2010; $25), author Sheri Koones dispels negative myths about prefabricated houses in her profile of 25 unique homes that showcase how factory-built homes are not only better quality, but also greener, more efficient, and costeffective than stick-built homes. Koones walks readers through each of these homes, explaining materials, strategies, and systems used to create each sustainable living environment.
Improve your memory over breakfast with Dave Farrow, a Poughkeepsie native with two Guiness World Records for greatest memory. Farrow is a leader in the field of memorization and a frequent speaker on memory enhancing techniques. $25 for Orange County Chamber of Commerce members in advance, $30 members at the door, $50 non-members. 7:27-9am. The Fountains. (845) 457-9700. orangeny.com
Berg and His World
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products, services, and tips to make your home & office more comfortable, healthy, and efficient
Recycle food scraps and add valuable nutrients to your soil with the Plow & Hearth Bamboo Composter. This leak proof and odor-free container holds 3.75 quar ts and provides a simple yet chic way to hold food scraps until you can take them to your backyard compost bin. Use with optional 100 percent biodegradable BioBag liners that allow heat and moisture to escape. $49.95. plowhearth.com
Create a Case
Trexta is a maker of luxury cases for a wide variety of unique snap-on covers for iPods, iPhones, and other gadgets in spor ts and lifestyle themes. The newest and greenest entry to date is the customizable Sketch Up case for iPod 2G and 3G that allows you to design your own cover with the enclosed markers. It’s recyclable, antibacterial, biodegradable, and affordable. $19.99. amazon.com
Walk to Talk
Wirelessly charge your handheld devices with the nPower Peg after it captures and stores kinetic energy while you walk, jog, or bike. This cradle-to-cradle product is lightweight, easy to carry, and compatible with over 3,000 handheld electronic devices. The nPower Peg is made with sustainable components, which are 90 percent locally sourced. You’ll never run out of battery power again. $149. npowerpeg.com
Made from 93 percent recycled and reclaimed materials, the Kallista Cast Iron Kitchen Sink is a sophisticated yet practical choice for any homeowner. The formidable cast iron and ultra-thick layer of glossy enamel ensure an easy clean that guarantees to not chip, crack, or burn. Star ting at $882. kallista.com — Compiled by Meghan Zanetich 14 NEW YORK HOUSE / August 2010
For those on the go, PackIt Personal Cooler will keep food cold for up to 10 hours without ice packs or soggy sandwiches. This nontoxic, reusable bag is lined with an eco-gel that is ear th safe and PVC/lead free and folds up for convenient storage in your freezer. $19.99. packit.com
Live/Work showcases new, innovative, green, and local products and technologies for the office and home. Please send product information to Editor Nancy Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
all photos courtesy the manufacturers
5NILOCKÂ… .ORTH !MERICAlS OLDEST AND LARGEST PAVING STONE MANUFACTURER !VAILABLE NOW AT 7ILLIAMS ,UMBER (OME #ENTERS The Original. The Best.
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Continuing & Professional Education
“Reclaiming A Fine Art GrSopace:” Exhibition, recup eption Brooklyn
View an exhibitio n displaying the diversity of la nguages that New York City ar twork speaks today. Gallery op en by appointmen t through Aug. 21 During each rece . ption Aug. 5 and 21, one original painting will be ra ffled off with the proceeds donate to Green Edge C d ollaborative NYC . Free. 7:30pm-mid night. Gallery Hou se, 272 Clinton Ave. (808) 385-03 12. galleryhouse. org
Events Calendar A calendar of events with a focus on promoting sustainability in our homes and communities.
Clean Energy Technology Training Photovoltaics (PV) Systems Advanced Photovoltaics Systems Conquering Solar Incentives Photovoltaics – System Assembly/Construction Photovoltaics – Intro to Off-Grid Systems Residential PV Site Assessor Training
ST U al G U A identi s e R g in Ex ist ing Buildormance Perf s Au d i t n o w ut changes iddlet o
ab tation ton, M ams— Kings USGBC presene auditing progrices, and state
is c er v Join th g performan actor s iency and r t n o in c d alysis, g y effic in buil ance an ams for ener dings. m r fo r r e p buil og ents, eral pr f residential nd stud 11, d a fe s r d e n b o a n er mem -8pm. August y, rizatio r chapt we a t h e fo rar rs. 6 s le a ce s membe t 12, Thrall Lib n a n v o d n a 0 $10 ugus r, $2 gston. A the doo $15 at eakhouse, Kin ny.org St state Skytop reenup g . n w o Middlet Na
Certiﬁcate in Technical Sales Specialist, PV
to lea an informa rn ti certific about the on session nine-m ate tra onth buildin ining c g o sustain profession. urse for ind G iv a constr ble concept et informa iduals work tion o s to b uction ing in nh uil , th previe w the and manage ding design ow to app e ly ment. , develo cours Free, p e. Meet r instru pment, Ulster eregistratio ctors n B and sunyu usiness Re requested. source lster.e 6-7:30 d pm u/ C Sustain ableBu continuing_ enter. (845) . SUNY ed/no ilding.j ncred 687-5012. sp it_pro grams /
IGSHPA Geothermal Installation/NATE Course Solar Hot Water Installation & Design Small Wind Energy Workshop Residential Wind Site Assessor Training National Sustainable Building Advisor Program BPI Building Analyst BPI Envelope Professional BPI Heating Professional
16 NEW YORK HOUSE / August 2010
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—Compiled by Kim Plummer
The Nation’s Finest Juried Artists & Craftspeople Continuous Demonstrations Furniture-Architectural Crafts Handcrafted Specialty Foods & Healthcare Products Supervised Children’s Activities Live Entertainment
FALL FEATURES: Fiber Arts Demonstrations Ulster County Handspinners Guild
Windsor Chair Making Demonstrations
Art & Crafts Fair Labor Day Weekend SATURDAY
10AM - 6PM
10AM - 6PM
10AM - 4PM
SEPT 4 SEPT 5 SEPT 6
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Call (845) 255-0243 or visit www.newpaltzchamber.org newyorkhousemagazine.com 17
buildings in profile
new york city’s green residential structures in review
The Tapestry 245 E. 124th St., manhattan
he Tapestry, a 12-story 185-unit apartment building, is on its way to becoming East Harlem’s first LEED Gold certified residential rental development. Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC and Lettire Construction Corporation developed this building in part of the 125th Street River to River Rezoning, a multi-city agency effort to permeate the area with cultural, retail, entertainment, and residential uses. This development targets renters looking to lower their carbon footprint in a convenient neighborhood. A 5,000-square-foot green roof and landscaped terrace, 24/7 concierge service, non-smoking apartment availability, and fitness center add amenities. In addition, renters can choose from 26 distinct floor plans and seven kitchens layouts, all featuring expansive windows. The Tapestry—a participant in both Enterprise Green Communities and NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program—offers Energy Star appliances, Forest Stewardship Council certified flooring, recycled tiling and carpeting, and bamboo cabinetry for all of its one-, two-, and three- bedroom homes. This development is located in a culturally diverse neighborhood, surrounded by shops, restaurants, museums, and recreation, and is within walking distance to Central Park, Marcus Garvey Park, Randall’s Island Park and recreational center, and the East River promenade. Rents range from $1,860 for an alcove studio to $3,610 for a threebedroom.
LEED Status: Anticipating LEED Gold Developer: Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC and Lettire Construction Corporation Broker/Agent: Nancy Packes Inc., Signature Marketing Services
Liberty Luxe & Liberty Green
200 North End Ave. 300 North End Ave., manhattan
L the details
LEED Status: LEED Gold Developer: Milstein Properties Broker/Agent: The Marketing Directors, Inc.
—Meghan Zanetich 18 new york house / August 2010
iberty Luxe and Liberty Green, an interconnected two-building luxury condominium, holds the latest LEED Gold certified residency in Battery Park City. Milstein Properties developed the 33-story Liberty Luxe and 23-story Liberty Green buildings, which include a total of 471 units on the last two buildable sites in the neighborhood. This development—a template for sustainable high-rise living— exceeds Battery Park City Authority’s sustainable guidelines and is 30 percent more energy efficient than its New York City counterparts. Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green provide residents with an ecofriendly lifestyle while sharing Hudson River and city wide views. A fitness center with yoga room, valet-operated garage, 24-hour doormen, and an outdoor roof terrace equipped with swimming pool and barbeque grill are included in the multitude of amenities available for residents of both condos. Penthouses and terraced homes are available in addition to studios, as well as two-, three-, and four- bedroom residences. All units offer bamboo floors, Asko washer and dryers, high-end stainless steel appliances, and Imperial White Danby Marble countertops. Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green are located near the heart of the financial district, a 1.2-mile Waterfront Esplanade, and are surrounded by dozens of restaurants, shops, and offices, with immediate access to New York City transportation. Prices range from $849,000 up to $6 million.
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Evolving technology and building materials are transforming the look of modular homes. Patrick MacCarthy’s home in Rye was factory built by Westchester Modular Homes and incorporates customized design features like vaulted ceilings.
Prefabricated, modular, factory-built—all these homes offer sustainable, green attributes and quality not found in stick-built homes. BY KIM PLUMMER; PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED
ot all factory homes are created equal. Modular and panelized homes are proof positive of that. In the past, modular homes were written off as “glorified trailers,” according to Bryan Hitt, president of Hudson Valley Homesource, LLC, but with the help of computer-aided design software and evolving building materials there are few limitations to creating a totally custom factory built home. There are three types of factory homes any newcomer should be familiar with: manufactured, modular, and panelized. Manufactured homes are commonly recognized as mobile and trailer homes built to meet federal regulations. Modular homes, on the other hand, are homes built in sections, transported to the location, and assembled into a home on site, adhering to housing regulations of their intended destination. Panelized homes involve a little more on-site construction. Walls, roofs, and floors come factory-made to the building site and need to be assembled together. Some manufacturers incorporate both modular and panelized components into their construction. Modular and panelized homes can be referred to as prefab homes because they are prefabricated off-site. When complete, these prefab 20 new york house / August 2010
homes are comparable to site-built homes, and are even said to be better after examining the advantages of building modularly. When it comes to modular homes, there are two construction periods. First is order to delivery, which takes about three to six weeks. The second phase is groundbreaking to the move in, which takes about three to four months depending on the size of the project. On average, a site-built home takes six to nine months to build. Time savings not only means a faster move in, but also financial savings because the construction period is significantly shorter. According to John Colucci, vice president of sales and marketing for Westchester Modular, modular homes are about 5 to 10 percent more cost efficient than stick-built homes. Most importantly is the consistent level of quality and efficiency that these homes have to offer. Prefab homes are inherently green according to the National Association of Home Builders. Prefab homes have incredibly tight envelopes and their construction does little to intrude or disturb the environment— delivering up to about 80 percent of a finished home within the first day—all helping to earn a building LEED points. “The construction waste for the most part is left here [in our factory] and moved down stream to the
next projects, all the way to the point of where we heat our facilities with our wood waste,” says Tedd Benson, company steward of Bensonwood Homes. “There’s no need for Dumpsters, and that’s an important part of it.” Additionally, modular homes themselves are extremely energy efficient. Many manufacturers can build homes that are Energy Star certified, while some manufacturers build to reach LEED status. It’s not uncommon for modular manufacturers to have zeronet-energy homes in their portfolios. Whether looking to build a home from the ground up, remodel, or add renovations to an existing home, thinking modular makes sense. Here are some facts to keep in mind: Do your homework Every manufacturer has a different niche in the marketplace. It’s important to keep in mind different levels of quality, capability, and customization available. Visit different manufacturers and model homes to see what you like and what you’d like incorporated into your home. Know your dealers and builders Every factory and builder in a factory’s network is set up differently. Some factories set their distribution up
Green by Nature
y their nature factory built homes are highperformance and low-impact. Manufacturers buy in bulk, lowering the overall cost and minimizing pollution. The climate- and quality-controlled factory environment allows for precision—leaving behind little waste compared to site-built homes. Also, factories have the advantage of “down streaming” left over materials toward future projects, says Tedd Benson of Bensonwood Homes. Once leaving the factory, 80 to 100 percent of a home is delivered within the first day, minimizing site disturbance. The sheer efficiency of manufacturing, transportation, and on-site assembly can earn a modular home up to 8 LEED points, says John Colucci of Westchester Modular. Many modular companies produce Energy Star and/or LEED certified homes and others, like Bryan Hitt of Hudson Valley Home Source, are NAHB Certified Green Professionals. Modular homes have tight building envelopes to optimize energy efficiency—but there are many more green options. Some companies work with renewable energy providers. Michael Provenzano, president of Distinctive as dealers, while others distribute as builders. When distributing as dealers, most expect the homebuyer to act as their own general contractor. When distributing as builders, they typically have a network of subcontractors who work with the company to do all the on-site work with your home, from prepping the foundation before delivery to electrical and plumbing work once the house is set. “Most manufacturers go out and find builders to represent them,” says Colucci of Westchester Modular. “Most often, customers end up dealing with the builders and the manufacturer just becomes the material supplier.” research the reputation of the modular company “There are people who market low-end homes, not much different than double wides, and then you have a quality modular home,” says Fred Krol, president and owner of Catskill Modular Homes, LLC. “You want to check that.” The best way is to get references of people living in that company’s home, find out if they’re happy, and visit any model homes. Make your budget prominent If you want to stay on budget, it must be made clear to the representative throughout the process, not only in negotiations, but throughout the sketching, drawing, and planning phases. If a price appears too good to be true, it probably is. If one quote out of four is extremely low, Colucci suggests customers ask what the company didn’t include rather than thinking it’s a deal. Get it in writing Make sure you know what you’re getting and get it in writing. You want to be sure the quote you receive includes everything you want done. According to Krol, many modular home manufacturers try to undermine the budgets of customers by excluding costs of freight, cranes, and the
Locally sourced manufacturers and materials reduce pollution from transportation and support the local economy.
Dwellings, works with his son Nick, a certified geothermal professional, to install geothermal systems with their modular homes. For those who opt out of geothermal, they use boilers with an efficiency rating of 80 to 90 percent, like Buderus. Westchester Modular hopes to partner with a solar provider so its builders can quote prices for PV panels on their homes. New World Home’s LEED Platinum homes, called “New Old Green Modulars” due to their familiar architectural styles, use no alternative energy sources but can still save thousands of dollars per year in electricity and heating costs and use 60 percent of the energy of a code-built house due to superior building materials and insulation, the company says. “It’s all in the building science,” says Mark Jupiter, co-founder. To maintain indoor air quality, use low- or noVOC paint and seek low-VOC flooring and carpeting options. Bamboo floors and formaldehyde-free carpets can be installed onsite if not available from the manufacturer. Choose low-flow water fixtures, dual flush toilets, occupancy sensors, programmable thermostats, and Energy Star appliances. Lastly, choose products made from recyclable materials, renewable sources, and found locally. setting of the house on the site. “It’s very deceiving,” Krol says. “You want to get a line item of everything that they’re including in their price and if it’s not including freight then you know something is missing, because they’re going to charge you freight. You have to deliver it.” Be wary of standard specs and pricing The word standard can mean a full range in quality; buyers should be sure to check carefully. For instance, standard flooring often implies linoleum, from which most will upgrade. However, upgrading can become expensive so it’s best to ask lots of questions and find out what specifically the standard price includes. Don’t skimp on the long-term items When putting money into any home—prefab or sitebuilt—it’s important not too compromise on long term items like windows, doors, and roofing material. A buyer should invest in quality with more permanent fixtures. “If you’re going to cut corners because you’re on a limited budget, you do it with things like light fixtures or countertops,” Krol says. “That you can readily change a year or two down the road if you want to upgrade them.” Don’t be afraid to customize “The biggest feature we see nowadays is just the ability for a person to
Jersey City-based New World Home showcased its Country Living House of the Year in Manhattan’s financial district this summer. The 2-bedroom LEED Platinum home, the Hudson Cottage, costs $575,000 and $375,000 in its simplest form, and has become a Country Living design center at the Crystal Springs Resort in Hardyston, NJ.
put their own ideas into a project and make it their own,” Hitt says. Most manufacturers have their own design team and computer-aided architectural software that allow a client to design a home from the ground up. Buyers can take virtual tours of their new homes and make modifications before construction begins.
Research (2-4 weeks)
Planning (4-8 weeks)
Decide on your budget
Select a builder, begin designing
Meet dealers and builders
Make your budget prominent
Visit model homes and factories
After design is finalized, costs can be estimated more exactly
Check references of manufacturers and builders
Begin to secure financing
Setting & Finishing
(about 12 weeks)
Financing is secured Manufacturer begins construction of modules Builder obtains all necessary permits and begins site prep Subcontractors are hired to finish Set crew and crane operator are scheduled to put home in place
Set crew, crane operator, and builder set modular home onto foundation 80 percent of home finished on arrival Subcontractors complete electrical and plumbing connection and other final finishes
Fortunately, for most companies customization does not mean custom prices. Prefab homes are offering homebuyers a way of achieving high quality homes in terms of energy efficiency, construction quality, and architectural integrity. At the same time, building this way allows you to control costs in a more effective way than site-built homes since contingency costs are nearly eliminated because the house is built in the factory. â€œSimply put, weâ€™re bringing the craft into the craft studio,â€? Benson says. n
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Design possibilities with Lindal are inﬁnite. In addition to the classic Lindal homes best known for soaring walls of glass, Lindal offers traditional, contemporary and modern designs. With its partnerships with Dwell Magazine and Turkel Design, Lindal has introduced many new 21st century designs that have been selected by Dwell Magazine for the Dwell Homes Collection, and Time Magazine has honored Lindal’s new Turkel Designs in Time’s Green Style and Design 100 issue. We also have new, modern Lindal designs to show you. Design with style and within your budget.
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profile: how do you green? Ally and Jaimie Hilfiger find serenity among the river stones, bamboo, and Japanese maples in the garden of Ally’s Manhattan home.
Ally and Jaimie have designed a healthy and eco-conscious lifestyle and are serving as models for others.
or nearly two decades the Hilfiger name has been synonymous with fashion, American style, and making an influential mark on a younger generation. These days Tommy isn’t the only one with a vision. His 25-year-old daughter Ally and 24-yearold niece Jaimie have joined the cause in living ecofriendly lifestyles, a movement they strongly believe in. “My generation is very aware of the environment and knows that if we don’t take part in doing something to change it, our world will never be the same,” says Ally. Her journey to live a clean and sustainable lifestyle started in the beginning of 2010 when she began to change her habits to live a simpler existence. New York City has been home to Ally for many years and when her cousin Jaimie received a phone call asking her to move in and help rearrange her life, she just couldn’t resist. “It was something I waited for her to ask me for a very long time,” says Jaimie. “I knew it would happen soon enough.” Jaimie has been living a green lifestyle for almost two years. She is an organic pescetarian—a vegetarian who also eats fish—recycles everything in her home, uses allnatural products, does not use plastic bottles, and lights her Los Angeles apartment with energy-efficient light bulbs. She has served as co-host to Brian Au of “The Eco Chef,” has been a reporter at an awards ceremony for the 24 new york house / August 2010
BY MEGHAN ZANETICH; PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHEN SULLIVAN
Environmental Media Association, and recently hosted the 1st Annual Neuro-Recovery and Health Conference of Northern California, a conference Ally spoke at.
“Ecofriendly living has become part of the norm, it’s strange if you don’t jump on.” —Ally Hilfiger Jaimie’s most pressing environmental concern deals with the types of food she eats. “The things that we put into our bodies really have everything to do with the way we will end up for the rest of our lives,” she says. Once Jaimie moved in with Ally, both of their earth-friendly and healthy practices began to take precedence. They rarely ate out, choosing to cook organic options such as curry lentil soup, using fresh vegan and organic ingredients. They also
don’t eat any packaged food, and read every label before consuming. Much of Ally’s transformation happened because she was looking to cleanse herself before she began homeopathic treatments for Lyme disease. “I wanted to make myself stronger because without your health you can’t do much. After changing my eating habits I feel much cleaner inside,” Ally says. In addition to changing their food intake, the young women reduce their carbon footprint in other ways while living in New York City. “I ride my bike everywhere. Not only is it convenient, but it makes a huge difference on the environment,” Ally says. “Ecofriendly living has become part of the norm. It’s strange if you don’t jump on.” Much like Jaimie, Ally has also lent her name to helping the environment by becoming an Ocean Council junior council member of Oceana, an organization which focuses on ocean conservation. She helps raise awareness and advocates protection and restoration of the world’s oceans. Living this consciously isn’t always easy though. Jaimie works as a model, spokeswoman, and television personality, often having to wear makeup and hair products full of harmful chemicals. “I wish it could be easier, but unfortunately, that is not the case,” she says. In her private life, however, Jaimie prefers products
such as Ava Anderson Skin Care, Ahava body wash and lotion, Jacob peach scrub, and Alterna caviar shampoo and conditioner. In addition, Jaimie tests all products she uses on cosmeticsdatabase.com, an Environmental Working Group site that will rate products for toxic content on a scale from zero to 10, ranging from low hazard to high hazard. Ally, who works as a consultant for designer Nary Manivong, hasnâ€™t exactly turned her wardrobe into hemp heaven, but did turn her father, Tommy, onto organic cottons. â€œOne day when I own my own clothing line, I will absolutely be mindful of the 78772857795 materials I use,â€? Ally says of her wish to start designing 58525795 4/&'"&)$ #! once her 17-year-old sister graduates from college and 5
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controversy over a small farm in upstate New York makes me wonder if small scale farming can get too big. A farmer who bought land in a residential neighborhood was told by the town her operation Can small scale violates zoning farming get too big? laws. She has irked neighbors who think her farming is out of context in a residential enclave. At first glance, when you hear about neighbors battling neighbors over a little farming in a residential neighborhood you think, “What’s wrong with growing your own food and being self sufficient?” Then you read reports the small farm proposes 300 chickens, two cows, and seven goats. Not to mention growing food for a restaurant and 25 other people—all on just 5.36 acres of land in the middle of a residential enclave. Large-scale factory farming isn’t exactly ecofriendly. The more local produce the better, for our health and environment. I’m all for 100 percent self-sustaining living. I’ve written that zoning laws could have an agricultural component so all developments have allowances for local food production—just as there are parking allowances considered when developers build. I’ve tirelessly promoted hydroponics, aquaponics, composting, and local agriculture. But if home-based farming creates ire and bad will within the local community it’s attempting to sustain, there’s a good argument for intelligently limiting some agricultural activity within residential settings. It’s in our best interest then to figure out how to productively utilize existing farms, rather than overdeveloping residential land into farming operations so large they no longer serve the small scale it was originally intended for. —Paul McGinniss
most folks wouldn’t mind having a few chickens in their neighborhood, but might balk at a fullscale poultry farm on their block.
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or homeowners looking to build or renovate with sustainability in mind, the supply of ecofriendly products seems to be endless. For the flooring industry, many of these options were available before green became a full-fledged industry. These days, manufacturers are setting higher standards, and everyone is joining in. “Consumers and designers are so in tune with sustainability more so than ever before. They just assume that products will have that aspect in their characteristic so I think it’s a necessary ingredient,” says Emily Morrow, director of color, style, and design of Shaw flooring. It was 1999 when Shaw introduced its first cradleto-cradle carpet tile; four years later the company won the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, and earlier this year it began the “Anso? Hope So” campaign which focuses on the cleanability and durability of its carpet.
Ecofriendly, durable flooring options abound for any room—and budget. By Meghan Zanetich; photographs provided
Shaw’s Anso brand uses nylon 6 carpet fibers that can be fully recycled back into new carpet. It’s the only nylon product in the industry with post-consumer recycled content, and with a price point of $3 to $4 per square foot, this carpeting is easily accessible at any budget. With homeowners spending 90 percent of their time indoors, natural flooring options are not only better for the environment, but for indoor air quality as well. “It really is about our well being,” says Kate Dayton, owner of Green Courage, an ecofriendly home design center in New Paltz. Her favorite flooring product on the market right now is cork, and working with a company like Globus Cork that colors and finishes its materials in the Bronx is an added incentive for her. “Supporting your local economy is a very important element to all of this,” Dayton says. Cork is one of the hottest flooring options to hit the market because of its softness and durability. The material used for this ecofriendly flooring is bark that naturally sheds every nine to 15 years. The trees can live for up to 500 years. It’s hypoallergenic, resistant to mold and mildew, a great acoustic absorber, and is reasonably priced between $5.25 and $7.95 per square foot. However, despite the low maintenance associated with cork, it does have its fair share of pitfalls. Denting can happen if heavy objects are placed or fall onto the surface and sustainable architect Diane Neff prefers not to use cork in wet locations such as kitchens or bathrooms. “Manufacturers say you can put [cork] in these places, but I personally worry about moisture,” she relates. 28 new york house / August 2010
“One of the worst things you can do ecologically is put something in your house that needs to be replaced in a couple of years.” —Diane Neff, architect
1. Marmoleum Click is Forbo’s easy to install floating floor available in a multitude of colors. 2. Pioneer Millworks Oak Settlers’ Plank provides a rugged look that enhances each and every wear mark, saw mark, and nail hole in its recreation of a classic barn floor. 3. This American Gothic Grey Elm wood dining room floor produced by Pioneer Millworks is a nearly extinct product typically salvaged from old barns. 4. Shaw’s carpeting acts as a trap for allergens, keeping particles such as pollen out of the air. 5. Marmoleum Click is an ecofriendly alternative, durable enough for even the busiest rooms in a home. 6. This snap-lock floating floor by Globus Cork reduces heat loss in rooms, is anti-allergenic, and insect resistant.
Neff prefers to go a traditional route in these rooms and use stone, tile, or woodwork. A lot of her clients use tile because they prefer to install radiant heat, which works well under this flooring option. She uses tile in bathrooms, kitchens, and entrance areas because of its longevity. She often works with Ann Sacks, a company that supplies tile with recycled content. Tile is typically more expensive than most flooring products, but pays off in the long run, Neff says. “One of the worst things you can do ecologically is put something in your house that needs to be replaced in a couple of years. When using stone or tile, it’s going to be in there for a long time,” Neff says. Another option that Neff says works well in a home is Marmoleum. Although linoleum is associated with older homes, this modern ecofriendly version is family and pet friendly, and has recently become a good alternative for families with allergies. Forbo’s Marmoleum line is currently the only flooring product on the market that has received asthma & allergy friendly certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Marmoleum is an all-natural product that is VOC free, soft on your feet, durable, and an easy to clean option for any room in a home. “It’s a very environmentally friendly product that promotes good indoor air quality,” says Scott Day, marketing and communications manager of Forbo. Although this product has been in the Forbo family for quite some time, Day says it is now paying off because so many people are looking for healthy and natural flooring options. With more than 200 colors available, this natural product is made from rapidly renewable materials and ranges from $7 to $9 per square foot, depending on the product line. Marmoleum is selling better than ever at Green Conscience Home & Design, a boutique in Saratoga
Springs, says owner Karen Totino. “We definitely see a lot of interest in it because it has become more mainstream and is often talked about on DIY television shows,” she says. Totino recommends this product for kitchens, bedrooms, mudrooms, and utility rooms because of its low maintenance. Marmoleum may be a room-specific option, and Totino believes that a hard surface such as wood flooring may be the best option to use throughout the home. She is a distributor of Pioneer Millworks flooring and swears by that company’s quality. “Not only are they selling a sustainable product, but their practices as a company set them apart from others,” Totino says. Pioneer Millworks sells FSC certified recycled product that is 100 percent post-consumer material. All the wood has been salvaged from barns, industrial buildings, wine barrels, water tanks, and material that would otherwise wind up in a landfill. “We go the extra mile when it comes to walking the walk of environmentalism,” says Jered Slusser, a wood expert for Pioneer Millworks. Pioneer’s shop is heated by wood waste, and its office uses very efficient hydronic heating. Pioneer has been in business for two decades and works with about 25 different species of wood each day. A flooring selector on its website helps homeowners decide which flooring option will work best for them. The company’s products are formaldehyde free, readily available, and can be produced usually within three weeks, the company says. Pricing can run anywhere from $3.75 to $25 per square foot, depending on the rarity of the wood, and people are often surprised to find that this antique wood is produced right here in New York. “Seeing that green and sustainable living and sustainable construction is really becoming such a trend these days, everybody wants something that is greener; everybody wants some that has a story to it,” Slusser says. n
Resource List Ann Sacks
Green Conscience Home & Garden
New York; (201) 529-2800; annsacks.com
Saratoga Springs; (518) 306-5196; green-conscience.com
Antique & Vintage Woods Pine Plains; (518) 398-0049; antiqueandvintagewoods.com
Green Courage LLC
New Paltz; (845) 255-8731; greencourage.com
Scarsdale; (914) 725-2385; debeardesign.com
Nyack Wide Plank Flooring
Country Road Associates
Nyack; (888) NYACK FLOORS nyackwideplankflooring.com
Millbrook; (845) 677-6041; countryroadassociates.com
Diane Neff Larchmont; (917) 880-9517; dneffarch.com
Forbo Hazleton, PA; (570) 459-0771; forbo.com
Ghent Wood Products Ghent; (518) 828-5684; ghentwoodproducts.com
Globus Cork Bronx; (718) 742-7264; corkfloor.com
Pioneer Millworks Farmington; (585) 924-9970; pioneermillworks.com
Shaw Floors Dalton, GA; (706) 278-3812; shawfloors.com
“Unity” Surfacing Systems Hicksville; (516) 933-3238; surfacingsystems.com
Warm Floors Napa, CA; (800) 542-9276; warmfloors.com
6 newyorkhousemagazine.com 29
A former Staten Island resident adopts an earth-friendly lifestyle after buying a super-efficient, sustainable home in Woodstock. By kim plummer; photographs by deborah degraffenreid
30 new york house / August 2010
Harriet Kazansky relaxes in the sunny living room of her geothermal and passive solar Woodstock home. The angle of the roof allows her to enjoy natural light without the heat.
s a young girl, Harriet Kazansky spent her time in the rural town of Wurtsboro at the bungalow colony her grandparents lived in. She remembers the stream her grandfather had on his property, and in a way, her small pond mimics it. In fact, the same pair of red chairs that sit beside her pond now are the same chairs that sat outside her grandparents’ stream 57 years ago. “It felt like I was coming home,” Kazansky says about her move to Woodstock. “I always felt like I belonged in the country. I never liked the city. I was just never a city person.” Originally from Staten Island, Kazansky decided to move up to the Hudson Valley in 2003 after her children were married. When looking for a house in the area she sought a home that was efficient and environmentally sound. “I didn’t want to feel like I was damaging the environment anymore,” Kazansky says. In 2003, Kazansky bought her ultra-green home in Woodstock. “It was the [green] systems that made this house stand out,” Kazansky says. “I really wanted these systems. I’m thrilled with them.” Kazansky, a retired psychotherapist, currently lives in an incredibly efficient house that combines a passive solar system and geothermal heating and cooling. Built in 1981 by original owner Joan Gundersen, the house is supported by a multitude of systems that leave it with one utility bill—electric. Gundersen built the home to run independent of fossil fuels after the 1979 energy crisis. She hired Adirondack Alternate Energy to design blueprints and lay out the raw materials to build a passive solar home. The post and beam house is constructed from Adirondack white pine, with all windows facing due
south, directly in line with the sun’s rotation. The windows, in conjunction with the angle of the roof, allow sun in during the winter and will keep it out during the summer. “It’s a silent system,” Gundersen says. “It’s a system that’s there and it’s just as nature has intended. It’s just an extension of that.” In the center of the house is an air shaft, lined with local bricks Gundersen collected from Kingston beaches and garage sales, which connects to a 200-ton thermal mass composed of sand, gravel, and insulation that lies beneath the house. Together they function to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. At the top of the air shaft are vents where fans draw air in, suck the air down, and push it through the thermal mass beneath the house. From the thermal mass are pipes connecting to floor vents throughout the house that circulate air. After the passive solar home was built, Gundersen was able to get a rebate from Central Hudson Gas & Electric in order to afford the installation of a geothermal heating system in the mid-1980s. While the initial cost for the geothermal is more expensive than a conventional heating system, Gundersen says, “It pays for itself in the end. It has a long payback period, but you save on it.” Geothermal heating works with a closed series of pipes filled with water looping underneath the ground. The pipes are extended to the geothermal furnace, which extracts the heat from the water to heat the house. When Gundersen installed the geothermal system, she also added radiant tubing beneath the floors that circulates water from the geothermal, keeping
Original owner Joan Gundersen built the home to run independent of fossil fuels after the 1979 energy crisis. the floors cozy throughout the winter. “No slippers here!” Kazansky says with pride. Kazansky’s introduction to living with green systems has inspired an eco-conscious overhaul in her life. The house has made her more aware of the environment and has put her in touch with nature; she eats organic, non-processed foods, she refrains from pesticide use, and refuses to add any additional renovations unless they are ecofriendly. Within the next few years she plans to install solar panels to offset the small amount of electricity she uses now. In addition, she’ll also be adding an irrigation system for her gardens that captures rainwater and feeds it to the plants as needed. Kazansky says she plans to live in her Woodstock home for the rest of her life. Not just because she loves her home, but because of the people who surround her. “I like that they are responsible for what they do and say,” Kazansky says of her neighbors. “They feel
Within the next few years Kazansky plans to install an irrigation system for her outdoor gardens that captures rainwater and feeds it to the soil as needed.
responsibility, that they can’t just do and say anything. I like how proactive they are.” Their sense of responsibility has influenced Kazansky. While she didn’t build her home green from the ground up, she inherited it that way, and Gundersen’s early vision for a green future has changed Kazansky’s perspective on the environment and how we live in it. “I could never go back to living the other way,” Kazansky says about living in an oil or propane-fueled home. “If I moved to another house, I’d be putting in green systems from day one.” Kazansky’s life in Woodstock lets her live cleaner, without guilt, and instead, with a sense of pride and contribution. Knowing people could create efficient and sustainable homes in the 1980s makes Kazansky confident that people “could do it much better” now when it comes to green building. “We could all change the world,” Kazansky says. “It really starts with each one of us asking for green and not taking what isn’t.”n
Resource List Passive Solar Adirondack Alternate Energy; aaepassivesolar.com
Geothermal Heating WaterFurnace; waterfurnace.com
Geothermal Maintenance Jeff Lowe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc; lowe-plumbing.com
water heater A.O. Smith ProMax; aosmith.com
Plumbing Advantage Plumbing & Heating; (845) 679-6758
Flooring Home Legend; homedepot.com
Countertops Bella Grotta Granite Counter tops; bellagrottagranite.com
Kitchen Appliances Bosch; bosch-home.com/us
Windows Andersen Windows; andersenwindows.com
Deck John Bode Co.; (845) 382-1288
top to bottom: The post and beam house was constructed from Adirondack white pine supplied by Adirondack Alternate Energy, the same company that designed the blueprints for the passive solar home. Kazansky relaxes in one of the trio of hammocks surrounding her outdoor firepit. “You know how people find relaxation at the beach? I find that in the woods. The smell of the woods—I just love it,” she says.
32 new york house / August 2010
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This diagram shows how air infiltrates and leaks from a home, reducing energy efficiency. Air sealing and proper insulation would remediate this.
Energy Conservation Starts at Home From making simple behavioral changes to whole-home retrofits, every New Yorker has the power to save energy and money. BY Sarah Charlop-Powers; illustration provided
nergy use has tripled in the United States since 1950. This is a staggering statistic, when compared with only a doubling of the population over the same time frame. Longer commutes, larger homes, and growth in the use of technology account for this increase. An awareness that we need to reduce our energy usage and shift towards more renewable sources of energy has gained traction across sectors and political lines and continues to grow. Here are some ways that New Yorkers can save money by making our homes more efficient. No Cost/Low Cost Solutions
Energy conservation can begin at home. Small behavior changes and relatively inexpensive household upgrades can result in saving energy and money. Manage use of appliances—Household appliances such as ovens and clothes dryers are significant sources of heat. Using heat-generating appliances during cooler hours decreases the need for air conditioning. Consider air-drying clothes and dishes during the summer months. Efficient lighting—Incandescent lighting generates noticeable heat and uses significantly more electricity than compact fluorescent bulbs. Switching to a CFL light bulb will save you money all year long. Home sealing and insulation—Adding insulation to your home and sealing to prevent leaks in ducts, windows, and doors reduces the amount of conditioned air that you “lose” to the outside environment. Intelligent cooling—Heating and cooling accounts for approximately 45 percent of household energy use. Programmable thermostats save energy year-round by adjusting the temperature on a schedule. Studies show that using a programmable thermostat for your air conditioner can save you approximately $200 per year. Setting your air conditioner 5 degrees higher will save 34 new york house / August 2010
up to 20 percent on cooling costs. You can also reduce air conditioning costs by using fans, keeping windows and doors shut, and closing drapes, shades, and blinds during the day. Ceiling fans are very efficient, frequently using less energy than a light bulb. Plant trees—Mature trees provide shading that can reduce air temperature by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Shrubs and small trees reduce heat absorption and provide a temperature buffer around a house. Purchase efficient appliances—When upgrading appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR® label, which indicates up to 40 percent greater efficiency. Consider replacing old appliances before they break. Air conditioners that are more than 10 years old are only half as efficient as newer models. Home Performance Upgrades
Energy efficiency is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. In order to maximize a home’s energy efficiency, the New York State Energy Research and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) helps fund home-specific retrofits. The Home Performance with Energy Star program is a residential energy audit program that allows homeowners to hire an independent contractor who provides a comprehensive assessment of the home. The auditors, who are certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), assess the heating and cooling systems of the home, as well as the building’s insulation and windows. The auditor provides a detailed report, that outlines suggested improvements The report includes a cost estimate and approximate payback period for each improvement. After the audit is completed, the homeowner is eligible for either a 10 percent rebate of up to $3,000 for money that is spent out of pocket or can elect to take advantage of NYSERDA financing. There is also an income-eligible
component to the program with cash incentives for those who qualify. Green Jobs/Green New York
Last September, the New York State Senate passed the Green Jobs/Green New York bill. This program, which will take effect this fall, authorizes the creation of a $112 million revolving loan fund to finance eligible energy efficiency projects. This NYSERDA program will include energy audits and energy-efficiency retrofits for residential, small business, and not-for-profit property owners. The program will provide energy audits on a sliding scale. Middle-income applicants (earning less than twice the median county income) will be eligible for free audits. After receiving an audit, homeowners will be eligible for funding for projects such as the repair and replacement of heating and cooling systems, water heaters, windows, appliances, light bulbs, health and safety improvements, and weatherization. Financing will take the form of loans. Residential customers will be able to borrow up to $13,000. Retrofits are expected to save between 30 and 40 percent of energy use, resulting in savings that are greater than the associated loan. For more information about Home Performance with Energy Star and Green Jobs Green New York, please visit: getenergysmart.org and nyserda.org. n Sarah Charlop-Powers is the Mid-Hudson Energy $mart Communities Coordinator at Courtney Strong Inc., a NYSERDA contractor. Courtney Strong, Inc. provides consumers, businesses, and organizations with access to energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. CharlopPowers can be reached at email@example.com
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MetroGreenBusiness.com q&a with robert ragozine, president of donnelly sustainable energy services On December 9, 2009, the New York City Council passed the “Greener, Greater Buildings Plan,” placing New York at the forefront of efforts to survey and improve Robert Ragozine, the energy efficiency of existing president of Donnelly Sustainable buildings. Robert Ragozine, Energy Services president of Donnelly Sustainable Energy Services, is an expert on these surveys, as well as the energy audits that this new plan necessitates. MGB’s Maxim Alter speaks with Ragozine about the plan and the resulting energy and cost savings. http://metrogreenbusiness.com/news/qa.php
36 NEW YORK HOUSE / August 2010
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horoscopes for your home life by Eric Francis Coppolino / August 2010
e are living in the midst of many rare aspects, most of them involving Saturn. The planet of structure, limits, boundaries, and the passage of time is in opposition to the largest planet, Jupiter, giving the feeling of “two lifetimes at once,” it’s opposed to the inventive, revolutionary planet Uranus, which is putting us under the constant (seemingly external) pressure to grow and adapt—though marking the end of a 20-month phase; it’s square Pluto, which is more of an internal sensation that says “change or die.” Notably, all of this is and has been happening at once, which is more than most people can stand. When you look back at this time in your life, you may decide that it was the time you really took responsibility for your existence. On a mundane note, Mercury is retrograde in Virgo from August 20 through September 12.
Aries (March 20 – April 19)
We take gender roles entirely too seriously in our society, and I’m here to let you know that you have options. You will see these expressed in the people and opportunities you encounter the next few weeks, and these experiences may come with a sense of needing to make a decision. You don’t have to decide anything, and any decision you make can be unmade; what you can do is explore your feelings and experiences honestly and vividly: really get into what you’re experiencing. Notice if you feel a sense of vertigo if you unhook some of your false allegiances to the Blue Team and the Pink Team. Notice if the über-macho men and the beyond-femme women start to seem like cartoons. Look for the wide area where the two are seeking a sacred marriage in your body and soul.
Taurus (April 19 – May 20)
You are passing through a series of initiations: spiritual checkpoints that are designed to bring you into the present moment. These involve the work you do, your commitment to personal healing, your presence in your relationships, and something basic about your health. For the moment, your health is your sexual health, which relates closely to your sense of emotional wellbeing. If you encounter what seem to be obstacles or limitations, work through each of them, persistently and patiently, one at a time, until you resolve the issue that’s at hand (whatever it happens to be). Look for the integration point of all of these seeming different experiences; they are closely related, and what you learn working out any one of them can be applied to any of them.
Gemini (May 20 – June 21)
An idea represents the seed potential of something new; ideas are expressed in the world through experimentation and revision. Often a breakthrough follows a seeming setback or error, so if you encounter one or more of those, make sure you pause and look for the opportunity. This will require your staying just a little emotionally detached, and I would in all aspects of your life avoid courting frustration. Keep this in mind if you’re trying to work out a family or home issue, especially if people seem to “not understand what you’re saying” or refuse to open up and tell you what’s on their mind. You will learn a lot about yourself as you navigate this territory, particularly about how many old mental patterns have been dominating your life. Invent your way to the future.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
I trust that your life is settling down from the excitement of the past month or two. You are standing on much stronger territory than you’re accustomed to, though you might question how you got there. In fact, you might 38 NEW YORK HOUSE / August 2010
want to question where “there” is: that is to say, where you are. You have gone through a growth spurt and you may be feeling hemmed in by your physical environment. Whether or not it’s time to move, I have a suggestion for you: you feel cramped by the emotional stuffing of your family’s history. It is time to break free and find yourself. For quite a long time you’ve been striving consciously to feel better about yourself: to love and respect who you are. You don’t need them or their hallucinated ideas about you.
Leo (July 22 – August 23)
Take money matters in stride. Yes, conserve your cash and make purchases wisely; most of what you think you need you really don’t need. You may not believe that, but I could tell you some funny stories about Mercury retrograde. What the forthcoming Mercury retrograde in Virgo is about, though, is understanding how you evaluate yourself: your successes and failures, your value to the people around you, and whether anyone notices how generous you are. The next two months are a reminder to go easier on yourself, and to listen the most carefully to the people who express their faith and gratitude to you. At the moment the world is an unusual kind of mirror and you may be doing some sorting out of mixed signals. Just be sure you know which is which, and take a day to decide.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
At long last, Saturn has left your sign—but not your life. The past two years have been characterized by pressure to mature, enforced changes, and increased responsibilities, though I trust you reached that point where you wouldn’t trade them for the world. Now you have a new project: gaining some mental stability. That will be an adventure with Mercury retrograde from late August through early September, though you’re up for the task. You will have occasion to apply your awareness of the significant difference between your opinion about yourself, and the underlying facts about yourself. Your opinion may change but the basic facts remain stable: that is how you are now. The other difference is that the facts speak volumes about your integrity, whereas your opinions might be inclined to doubt.
Libra (September 22 – October 23)
Saturn has entered your birth sign, accompanied by three other planets—Venus, Mars, and Vesta. You may go through a wild identity crisis or two this month (perhaps a delayed reaction: most people went through it last month). I suggest you not make things any more complex than they need to be. Keep them simple by honoring your devotion to your inner core creativity. That’s your gentle passion, your consistency in your relationships, and the fire that burns within you. You know you contain many different opposites. You know that you are the one who must now take over the process of raising yourself into an adult who both honors his or her role in society. Too often we give this job to others; it is yours and yours alone.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 22)
You are searching deeply, and, at times, desperately for understanding about how your life is changing, and how you will adapt to those changes. You have to do far less than you may believe. I suggest working with isolation consciously. Anytime you feel alone, raise your level of awareness and turn your gaze within. You contain everything you seek, and the only way you will find that out is to test the theory. Don’t go missing on yourself; keep your focus on yourself (rather than, say, obsessing over a relationship). When you do this you will face fears that others are reluctant to admit, much less address. You
will ask yourself questions about existence that rarely see the light of the human mind. And you can, if you are open, discover a lush world of passion, sensuality, and contradiction.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 22)
You can finally get some work done. There is nothing like having to obsess over details to slow down a Sagittarian mind. There is nothing like the Sun in Leo to speed up your quest for adventure. And, as Saturn in Libra would have it, you are about to make a good bit of progress on putting your talent to use in the world—and I say that no matter how specific and focused your talent may be. Remember that every worldly success is built on relationships, and this counts even for those who have no interest in other people: those people take an interest in them, and there must be some form of reciprocity. You are offering yourself to the world, and you do have plenty going for you. Notice who is interested and focus on them.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)
Charm, persuasion, and to a certain extent seduction are appropriate tactics to use in leadership. The truth is most people have little clue what they want, and even less knowledge of what would benefit the common good. Further, our neighbors tend to either resist progress or put us in the position where they beg to be persuaded that it’s a good thing. Pay no attention to those who resist. As for everyone else, some will yield to your self-assertion. Others will be drawn to your attractive dynamism. Others will be turned on by how devoted you are. The rest will respond to simple authority, which you are exuding in bright colors right now. Trust that you have a resource to work with every situation that can be worked, and the ones that seem stuck will take care of themselves. You just need the wisdom to know the difference.
Aquarius (January 20 – February19)
Saturn is making many aspects in these weeks and months, and one by one every aspect of your life will come up for reconsideration, adjustment, and restructuring. Remember that you are not really making changes to the outer world: you are making up your mind about what you want and what is appropriate for you. Then you’re engaging with the world based on what you discover. If you try to make your changes from the outside you will likely run into confusion and resistance; if you discover that to be the case, then tune into what you want and what you have decided is necessary and focus on those truths clearly, with full awareness. Then, what you need to do, or change, will be obvious.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
You have more influence than you think; this, at a time of profound changes when lots of energy is being liberated. Also, you can put less energy into “making money” and more into creative flow: they have finally morphed into the same thing, if you are willing to allow that to be true. This is the tricky part, though by now you’ve figured out that resistance to what you want doesn’t get you anywhere. I suggest you experiment with focusing the most positive, life-affirming thoughts on what you desire, then proceed as if it will come to you. Don’t be surprised when it does—therefore, make sure to focus on what you consider the most significant or satisfying first. I am not saying you can bend the universe to your every whim; that’s the whole point: keep your heart and soul oriented on your authentic truth. Visit Eric Francis at PlanetWaves.net.