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"Treehouse Project" combines innovation with imagination

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:27

Homeowner Merilee Marshall didn't want just any home on the block. She wanted a piece of property that was as unique as she is and efficiently used energy - and she got her wish.
Her home, dubbed the "Treehouse Project," has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the only custom-built home in northeast Ohio to achieve LEED Platinum certification, according to the Chagrin Valley Times. 
"I named it the Treehouse because I would rather live in a tree than anywhere else, and trees harvested from the property were used to build it," Marshall told the news source.
To achieve this green status, Marshall requested the installation of a number of energy efficient technologies. According to the news source, solar photovoltaic panes were installed on the roof and a geothermal system was installed with a network of pipes that provide the necessary infrastructure for radiant floor heating.
The utility solution allows Marshall to substantially decrease her dependency on traditional energy sources - the home is connected to a natural gas pipeline - but she says she rarely has to use gas to power anything. Radiant floor heating works well with geothermal systems and can efficiently run off renewable energy. 
By using a more energy efficient system, Marshall has been able to better enjoy the comfort of her home - without worrying about rising utility costs or negatively impacting the environment. To help make the most of this energy system, high R-value windows and insulation were also installed throughout the house. By using a combination of green technologies, Marshall has been able to enjoy her new home at a fraction of the cost of other properties.