A True LEED-er for Green Building: Interview with David Gottfried

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A True LEED-er for Green Building: Interview with David Gottfried

You’ve got to hand it to David Gottfried - he walks the talk
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Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 11:45am

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You’ve got to hand it to David Gottfried - he walks the talk. Not only is Melissa’s interviewee one of the founders of the US Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council, with  over 70 chapters and projects in over 50 countries, but he recently embarked on a project to green his own home, a 1915 Craftsman bungalow he bought in 2007.

Energy was relatively cheap and global warming was virtually unknown when this house was built, but as Bob Dylan famously sang, “things have changed”.  But rather than bulldoze and build from scratch, Gottfried saved the “embodied energy”- the labor, fuel, electricity and know how it took to build the house in the first place and instead ‘recycled” this classic home into a state of the art LEED Platinum certified green building.

He put together a cohesive team to look at the house as a system, to make the plumbing, electric, heating and cooling, health of the occupants and landscaping all work together to maximize both livability and minimize environmental impact. The house is framed with reclaimed and sustainably harvested wood. David and his crew saved the historic character and features of the house, while bringing it up to the highest energy savings standards, putting in new efficient electrical and plumbing runs and double glazing the windows. The kitchen countertops are made from Syndecrete, a lovely, lightweight, high recycled content concrete surface, and surround state of the art stoves and other appliances.

The bathroom reuses grey water (what went down the drain when you washed your face with this morning) to flush toilets and water the landscape, making it 50-75% more water efficient than required. Also the cast iron tub is 97% recycled steel - see our piece on steel roofs - and is a much better choice than a tub made of petroleum-based plastic resins. Of course the house is powered by the sun and has a solar hot water system as well.

What David has done is something you can do too, step by step. Don’t build new - recycle that old house of yours into a green showpiece, one piece at a time.

Greenopolis.com is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.

Keywords: David Gottfried | Greenbuild | GreenopolisTV | LEED | Melissa McGinnis | True

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