Nine months after a fire partially destroyed their home in Southampton, a Long Island family is turning the tragedy into a green opportunity.

After losing their home last December 22, the David Dubin family joined with members of The Hamptons Green Alliance to rebuild the house in what is believed to be the first net zero energy consumption, certified carbon neutral, and LEED Platinum home in Long Island if not the nation.  And it is a project that the world is being invited to watch.

After the fire the Dubins began to talk with their friend and local architect Richard Stott, a LEED certified specialist, about planning their new home.  Stott, knowing that the Dubins were also environmentalists, began to discuss with them the idea of incorporating state-of-the-art materials, procedures, and techniques as well as experimental building ideas to develop a true energy-conserving house that may set the standard for construction carbon neutral homes in the future.

Stott brought the Dubins together with the Hamptons Green Alliance whose membership includes local builders and other architects, to carry out the rebuilding effort.     The group is working with the local chapter of the United States Green Building Council to seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status.  They also seek to implement a methodology developed by Hamptons Green member Frank Dalene that will definitively calculate the carbon footprint of the actual materials, products, and businesses that are used in construction, thereby establishing a true carbon-neutral status for the home.

(For a full explanation of LEED and LEED building standards see “LEED Standards; a Growing Force in Green Building", Archives, December 3, 2008)

Because the house is being rebuilt it will afford an unusual opportunity to do an apples-to-apples comparison of before and after energy consumption.  The principals will have the existing records of energy usage to quantify and prove the energy savings of the new construction.

 The Project Team began meeting in the spring of 2009 to collaborate and share information with each other.  The house was deconstructed so as to recycle reusable portions of the structure for maximum LEED points and the house is now framed and roofed.   Completion is scheduled for next May.

We have spoken to project principals and they have agreed to let us report on the project and some of the techniques and products they will use in constructing the new home.  Watch for more information in the future.