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Three Eco-Friendly Homes

Net-positive high-end custom build

In honor of Earth Day, we highlight three sustainable homes that are as easy on the eye as they are the environment. Each speaks volumes about the dexterity and vision of the firms that designed and constructed them, as well as the professionals' commitment to a green built environment.

Net-Positive Suburban Stunner

Net-positive high-end custom build

Construction by Thoughtforms Corporation; architecture by Zero Energy Design; photography by Chuck Choi

For President Mark Doughty of Thoughtforms Corporation, every day is Earth Day. He and his family are three years in to their all-electric Western Red Cedar home in Sudbury (shown at top). This remarkable home, which nabbed two Prism Awards for "Best Net Zero/Passive House" and "Best Energy Efficient Project" for Thoughtforms and architect Zero Energy Design and a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum rating in 2017, generates 70% more energy than it uses, or, offers the builder, "enough to power a Tesla for 35,000 miles."

As a builder, Doughty felt the only responsible home to build for himself was a home like this, plus, he is an "active voice" on MIT's Sloan Sustainability Initiative, which looks at environmental costs as well as energy performance. "It's one of those things," feels Doughty, that you can't just let somebody else do; you have to walk the walk." Besides, it gave Thoughtforms the chance to build a house to these exacting standards, which they hadn't done before; and, for the record, they nailed it. 

Net-positive high-end custom build

Construction by Thoughtforms Corporation; architecture by Zero Energy Design; photography by Chuck Choi

They considered their home from an energy side (Doughty doesn't have to pay energy bills), from an indoor-environment perspective (read: fresh, healthy air) and a responsible use of materials and resources. When you enter the home, there are no tell-tale signs that the home is sustainable, and the family happily found that there were no real compromises during the design process. Or, surprises after the fact, for that matter. The home was completely comfortable during the harsh winter months. In fact, in a winter of ice dams, his home didn't even have an icicle due to the way it was built.

Net-positive high-end custom build

Construction by Thoughtforms Corporation; architecture by Zero Energy Design; photography by Chuck Choi

The exciting thing, notes Doughty, is that his home has shown Thoughtforms' clients that these designs are attainable, and can be beautiful. These are not homes that look like "a beer cooler with two holes punched in for windows." In fact, his firm is currently building a home that is Architectural Digest-worthy and now targeting net-zero. "It's what comes to mind when you think of a Thoughtforms home," says Doughty. Stayed tuned.

Oceanfront Victorian

LEED certified high-end homes

Construction by Groom Construction; architecture by Grazado Velleco Architects

For a Victorian home located on the ocean in Marblehead, Groom Construction, together with Grazado Velleco Architects, championed an earth-friendly approach to the stunning North Shore renovation. From the outside, one would never know that the traditional, periwinkle home was sustainable, or, that the 5,000-square-foot enclave was fully LEED-certified. In fact, this seaside home was among the first in the Boston area to receive the symbol of excellence in green building. 

LEED certified high-end homes

Construction by Groom Construction; architecture by Grazado Velleco Architects

While recycled rubber slate roofing and geothermal heating and cooling aren't quite as sexy to talk about as, say, the retreat's dramatic oceanfront views and the interior's flawless detailing, those features are no less important to the design as a whole. And, the homeowners can rest easy that their abode's carbon emissions aren't infiltrating that enchanted salt air.

LEED certified high-end homes

Construction by Groom Construction; architecture by Grazado Velleco Architects

As a result of the client's commitments and Groom Construction's craftsmanship and expertise, this "feel-good" home is exactly that, designed for healthy living indoors and out.

Accessible New Construction

LEED certified high-end homes

Architecture by LDa Architecture & Interiors; Photography by Greg Premru

A family, who was passionate about the environment and the landscape, commissioned LDa Architecture & Interiors to design a highly resource-efficient, environmentally-friendly home in a leafy Newton neighborhood. The home also had to be easy for their disabled child to navigate, allowing her the freedom to travel indoors and out via wide passages and zero-step transitions. 

LEED certified high-end homes

Architecture by LDa Architecture & Interiors; Photography by Greg Premru

LDa designed the LEED certified home to have a firm connection to its verdant grounds, as well as a warm and welcoming interior that would be easy for every member of the family to enjoy, independently. In addition to bright, open spaces, the three-story home is equipped with an elevator and universally-designed bathrooms on each floor.

LEED certified high-end homesArchitecture by LDa Architecture & Interiors; Photography by Greg Premru

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