Open houses next weekend

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I've written several times about the annual Green Buildings Open House event, most recently here. But now the event is next weekend (Sat., Oct. 3) and it's worth checking back in.

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association has a page on its site that lists Massachusetts venues that are participating, and there are some interesting names on the list. People pay to hear some of these folks at at green building conferences, and here they are opening their homes at no charge to anyone interested. Among them:

Betsy Pettit of Concord is an architect, designer, and president of Building Science Corp. of Westford. I've attended a kick-ass, all-day presentation of her company's techniques at NESEA more than once, and might do it again; it's so full of information that I am certain I could get plenty more out of it.

John Livermore of Gloucester is a builder and consultant who has overhauled his 1973 Garrison Colonial as a deep energy retrofit. He used Larsen trusses (mentioned previously here) and other techniques with a goal of reducing the house's carbon footprint, on a budget of about $50,000.

I've toured landscape historian Marie Stella's home in Ashfield (referenced here), but have not written the story the tour was supposed to facilitate. It's an impressive renovation/addition that earned the first LEED platinum rating in Western Mass. Among many features, its oak floors were taken from trees felled for the building's footprint and milled a mile away, and it has a standing-seam metal roof that will harvest rainwater for the garden. The stonework in the patio is breathtaking, too.

I would love to see the first two homes as well, but the thing is, you could go to any home on the list and be enlightened, enriched, and entertained. It's a great way to spend a day.



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