New York's historic Harlem neighborhood continues to win over fans of green building. First the impressive 85-apartment David and Joyce Dinkins Gardens brought healthy green construction to the affordable housing market, and now at the other end of the spectrum a gorgeous green showpiece has taken root in an iconic brownstone.
After months of planning, hammering and painting, the Good Housekeeping magazine Green House debuted as the first LEED-certified green private residence in all of New York City. The inspiring, pioneering remodel was undertaken with the expert assistance of Global Green (of Brad Pitt's New Orleans fame) and Connecticut's Steven Winter Associates.
A clean, efficient laundry room means peace of mind.
Nestled in among other beautiful brownstones on a quiet, tree-lined street in eastern Harlem, the single-family home had been completely gutted. The property's owners, a pair of Israelis living in New York, had come to the project knowing they wanted a full green remodel. Yet no one involved with the extensive project knew quite how it would turn out.
At the star-studded launch party, however, everyone was all smiles, as guests oooed and ahhhed at the spacious, brightly lit dwelling, which was appointed with gorgeous green furniture (like the whimsical surfboard table pictured). Bold-faced names like Russell Simmons, Good Housekeeping chief Rosemary Ellis, green celeb chef Andrea Beaman and local news personalities mingled with green designers, municipal leaders and nervous project staff (one of whom admitted to working late over the past weeks doing the final touches).
Check out this funky recycled surfboard table.
So what helped the drool-worthy home make LEED? There's solar panels, daylighting (including skylights), ultra-efficient radiant floor heat, a tankless water system, rainwater collection, recycled materials and efficient appliances. The cozy backyard patio area was ringed with delightful low-water plants, sown in cooperation with Borst Organic Lawn Care. The patio makes for a slice of relaxation, also visible from the incredible master balcony (the views out, up and over are nothing to shake a stick at either).
Whimsical recycled decor added color and style to the home.
Perhaps the best thing about the Good Housekeeping Green House is that it presents an ultra-contemporary, comfortable, livable oases in the big city. Healthy and green, but certainly not hitting you over the head with those facts. As the home blends beautifully into the fabric of Harlem, you don't see anything different from the street. But the many green features offer great conversation pieces -- not to mention money savers to the host family and any guests to enjoy, for years to come.
Ecorazzi was also at the launch party. Check out their video:
Full disclosure: Good Housekeeping and The Daily Green are both owned by the same parent company, Hearst Magazines.
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