08 Sep Solid “gold” home
Sanctuary. I think that’s the best way to describe the back yard in Belle Meade’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold certified home. And its owner certainly feels that way. He purchased the property that looked nothing like this sixteen years ago knowing he would eventually build a new custom home on the lot. It used to be a 1960’s style ranch house but the surrounding green space on the narrow tree lined street was just right. So he decided six years ago it was time to take the plunge and start work on his new healthy retreat.
After many years of visiting his parents in the San Diego area, he fell in love with more contemporary and open air style California homes, which influenced the feel of his Nashville house. Another huge influence was his neighbor Al Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” about the effects of global warming on planet earth. That and his wife’s cancer diagnosis led him to create the healthiest home he could possibly build. With the help of architect Mitch Barnett and Klein Construction, his dream became a reality.
If you’re curious what building a LEED home involves, you’re not alone. I had no idea. It’s still relatively new in residential construction. Features include many things you don’t see or wouldn’t notice, like geothermal energy, radiant floor heating, no or low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and finishings, drought resistant plants and landscaping and reflective pavements as well as special energy efficient roof shingles and windows. Then there are things that are visible but still nice looking, like recycled glass rather than standard tiles, such as the backsplash in his kitchen and tile in his baths.
Cabinetry in the home was built by Chris Harmon of Azure Cabinets. Two of the home’s rooms feature cabinetry that was built from two large redwood trees that had to come down for the foundation. Now that’s local sourcing! And the owner received an innovative LEED recognition for using that wood. The wood also must be FSC or Forest Stewardship Council certified and must come from within five hundred miles of the building site.
photo credit: Kristi Irving Photography
The dining room features a dramatic long shelf, perfect for serving pieces during a dinner party or to display art the rest of the time.
The table was crafted from two pieces of wood and has a stainless steel base that matches the columns and stair railing.
Most of the art comes from local talent, acquired at the University School’s Art Fair. And speaking of art, how about the fabulous light fixtures purchased at Sprintz in Nashville?!? The homeowner shared a funny story about having them cleaned. He says it took an act of Congress to find someone who could take them apart to bring the sparkle back. And that person actually had the delicate job of cleaning chandeleirs at the White House!
Most of the furniture is from Sprintz in Nashville. And the stunning sculpture that greets you in the foyer is by Bruce Peebles, crafted out of one piece of wood.
The study is unique with its recycled newspaper wallpaper.
Even the pool is unusual with its reverse infinity design which the owner says is great when kids are around since the shallow area where the water spills over the stone wall is closer to the house.
The homeowner says doing this project was a positive experience with an end product he’s proud of and has exceeded all his expectations; a real sanctuary for him after a long day and a wonderful place to showcase his art. And the icing on the cake is he’s living in a sustainable home that will leave a smaller carbon footprint.
Because he needs less space, the home is going on the market in the near future. Beth Molteni with Fridrich and Clark Realty is the listing agent.
It’s a home he’s truly enjoyed living in that is, pardon the pun, “leeding the way” in sustainability and environmentally conscious design.
Sources include architect Mitchell Barnett Architects (615-385-3033), builder Jeff Klein of Klein Construction (615-776-2532), landscape architect Clyde Rountree (615-443-3444), Azure Cabinets , (615-429-6592) and Sprintz Furniture. (615-352-5912) Beth Molteni with Fridrich & Clark Realty can be reached at 615-566-1610 or thru email at Beth@bethmolteni.com.