Pollie Gautsch and her family lead active lives in the California sun. Her husband works as a surfboard shaper (and an energy engineer), and her two young children have already learned to value the outdoors. In September the Gautsch family will be moving into a brand new home, but they're not just excited about its close proximity to the ocean and lagoon trails. They're looking forward to living with a renewed sense of purpose, for their new home will be the first GreenPoint Rated home in Solana Beach, CA. GreenPoint Rated is a certification program from non-profit Build It Green similar to LEED that evaluates a building's green features.
Gautsch and her husband were passionate about bringing green building to the residential sector, and wanted to make sure their home was constructed using local and sustainable products. While researching green construction, Gautsch was frustrated to find there wasn't a resource that consolidated the local, sustainable building products and service providers. So she started San Diego Green Homes, a Web site with information to help others build green. Gautsch also started a blog, Building Green in Solana Beach, that covers the products she used and other green news in the San Diego area.
"It's surprising how many companies in the San Diego area are using products with a sustainable feature," Gautsch told The Daily Green. "Sometimes you just don't know until you ask."
The Gautsch home will run on solar power and propane, and though it will be connected it will not rely on the area's power grid. The house will also have some special green features that stretch far beyond traditional, like Greenfiber insulation made from recycled and fireproof material, Squak Mountain Stone recycled countertops and sustainable Fireclay tiles. Gautsch is especially proud of her flooring made by Indo Teak flooring. The company is approved by the Forest Stewardship Council and all its products are made from reclaimed wood, so no new trees are cut down.
Gautsch has been very involved with the construction of her home. Through her experience and her passion for living sustainably, she has been able to advise many of her friends and readers on building with local, green products. She's been able to teach them that frequently, like in the case with regular and low VOC paint, green choices are the same price as traditional ones. Gautsch's demand for sustainable products has also helped educate local contractors on green manufacturing. A lot of the contractors were used to using the old school methods, and Gautsch hoped that by asking them to build sustainably she might lead them to being environmentally conscious in the future.
Gautsch hopes to kickstart more green construction in the area, whether it's home renovation or a brand-new project. In her effort to teach them about the sustainable products available, she might also teach them the benefits of living in a way that will protect the nature they love.
"I think a lot of people don't know about these products, and we're making them more aware," Gautsch said.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.