Each week MainStreet takes a look at what we call Extreme Real Estate. This week we bring you: Go Green.

It wasn’t so long ago building a “green” house using sustainable materials and high efficiency utilities was just a trendy idea touted by environmentalists and shelter magazines but rarely taken seriously by the average homeowner. However, it just isn’t so cheap to heat and cool a house anymore and with water shortages becoming more commonplace it may not be long before H2O becomes a commodity worth more than oil and gold. Going green doesn’t sound like such a far-fetched notion anymore, does it?

Sustainable Living In Portland
The Pacific Northwest has long been a leader in the greening of residential building. A newly completed house in Portland, Ore., recently hit the market with an asking price of $340,000 and a very desirable LEED Platinum certificate, the highest level of accreditation given by the respected U.S. Green Building Council.

The three bedroom and two and a half bathroom house measures 1,680 square feet spread over two floors of environmental friendliness. The builder has made extensive efforts to use sustainable and recycled materials, non-toxic products and energy saving utilities. The ground floor slab is 40% recycled material, the paints and stains are all zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds), the cabinets are custom constructed with wheatboard and joined with formaldehyde free glues.

The upstairs floors are bamboo (used for its fast growth sustainability), the water heater is tankless, the furnace highly efficient and all plumbing fixtures are low flow including the dual flush toilets.

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For more information contact Darcie Pelsor (971-227-8244) or Hilary Bourassa (971-207-0374) at Oregon First Real Estate.

Swank Solar Set Up in Key Largo
Down in Key Largo, Fla., where sunshine is in never ending supply, no eco-friendly stone was left unturned and no luxury left out in a 2,450 square foot solar powered house sitting on an acre of pristine waterfront property and listed at $2,800,000.

Although the three bedroom, three bathroom house is hooked up to the grid, there are solar-powered electrical and hot water systems, tinted and insulted glazing, clerestory windows to promote cross-ventilation, and a 7,500 gallon rainwater cistern for the plumbing, laundry and irrigation needs of the property. Non-toxic and no and low VOC paints and stains were used and, when possible, salvaged architectural details were used for columns, corbels, railings and gates.

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The cook’s kitchen includes DCS and Miele brand appliances, the entire house is wired for sound and automation and there are 1,400 square feet of decks, including wide waterside porches that shield the interiors from the scorching summer sun. And, of course, the house has been fitted with high-grade hurricane shutters for when the winds start blowing.

For more information contact Sharon Nyman (800-541-5019) at Century 21 Keysearch Realty.

Related Stories:
Recession Opportunities: Green Investing

Home Solar Power: Cost v. Savings

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