Large Luxury Home Earns LEED Platinum

This month 37 Parkside Avenue in Southampton – the HGA House – received LEED Platinum certification with a sizable 104 points.  Sadly to say, it was built after David and Saundra Dubin’s original home was destroyed in a fire a couple years ago.  The green home is nicely done, traditional, and wired up with all sorts of green gadgetry, perhaps showing folks in the jumbo luxury market what it takes to secure LEED Platinum certification.

The Hamptons Green Alliance boasts that HGA House is “one of the largest LEED Platinum homes on record,” according to a press release, adding that size is “what sets HGA House apart.”  It’s a 4,800 square-foot mansion that achieved a HERS Index of 25, which is impressive, many will agree.

With the means and a robust project team, you can build a large green like this that’s net-zero energy on an annual basis.  The owners incorporated thin-film solar on the south-facing roof; solar photovoltaics on the east- and west-facing roofs; solar thermal for domestic hot water, pool water, and primary heating; an open-loop, two-stage, variable-speed geothermal system; and a high-efficiency wood-burning fireplace providing 50,000 BTU per hour.

Without the means, perhaps an alternative strategy to net-zero energy would be to build smaller, use less materials, insulate properly, seal everything up, and use on-site green technology to produce enough energy to cover what you can’t minimize through design and construction.

But, to be fair, the HGA House did some of these things.  It has high-efficiency windows, spray foam insulation, LED lighting, home energy monitoring, Energy Star appliances, and overhangs to maximize solar gain in the winter and shading in the summer.  The Dubins enlisted the help of Telemark as general contractor and Richard Stott and Craig Lee as the architects.

HGA House also has low-flow fixtures, dual-flush toilets, and a water storage tank that holds water harvested from gutters for irrigation.

The home was awarded a declaration of carbon negativity in the form of a Phase I Embodied Carbon Negative certification showing that the construction of the home reduced more carbon emissions than carbon emitted.  Certainly, the owners and project team put a lot of effort into HGA House showing folks in the region what it takes to build greener.

[+] More background and construction detail of HGA House.

Photos: Richard F. Stott, AIA, LEED AP.

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  • BJ

    Too bad they didn’t put some of that effort into making it not look like a big junk pile of greenwash.

  • The Dude

    The design is a big pile of suck. I designed a 5100sf house with .25ACH earlier this year.

  • SB

    Does anybody know if I can get LEED certification for my 75′ powerboat with twin 600hp engines if I install solar panels and dual flush toilets?
    This project makes me believe I have a shot…

  • Justin

    I think the house is nicely done. It’s comments like these above that turn many people off to green building. This house is clearly green and the USGBC seems to think so as well. To put limits on the size of a house for being green is a foolish idea. Most people are not happy living in a 1,200′ (or whatever number you think is green) home. Comments like above do nothing to promote green building and only alienate people who might want or need a bigger home. A better idea is to let people build the size home they need and encourage them to use green techniques (energy efficiency, sustainably grown wood, recycled materials, etc…).

    Another point to remember is most people build their home not only as a place to live, but as an investment for their future. It is important for investment purposes to build a home that is in character with your neighborhood. What if you decide to sell in 5 years and move? It would be foolish in a neighborhood of 5,000+ sq. ft. homes to build a 2,000 sq. ft. home. No one with any economic sense would do this. They are going to build a home in keeping with their neighborhood, so rather than alienating these people from building green we should be encouraging them.

    • BJ

      I was only trying to alienate them from being an ugly hodgepodge… and then trying to cover it up by using green as an excuse. 😉

  • Patrick Hake

    its good to see this type of green design being used and promoted, even if the styling isn’t for everyone.

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