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Southern Home Design - Can Southern Homes be 'Green'? Part 3

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Tim Barron Architect, Inc.

Southern Home Design - Can Southern Homes be ‘Green'? Part 3

In my 2 previous posts on this topic, I covered how ‘Green' the old Southern Homes were. As a benchmark, we were using the 9 certification categories of LEED - Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Location & Linkages, Awareness & Education, Innovation in Design, and Regional Priority.  In this post I'll cover Green Home Designthe last 3 LEED categories:

On the category of Education & Awareness, does it count that we're still learning from the way they built 100 years ago? And often entire communities would come together to build a home (called a ‘house-raising), so the design strategies they used in their homes were shared with others who could benefit from the information.DOE Climate Map

Southern Homes would have gathered points for Innovation & Design. There was a great deal of attention to orientating for Solar Advantage, the durability of every material used was carefully considered, and Integrated Project Planning was the norm back then - now it is the exception. Of course there weren't any LEED/AP's (the person who reviews the project for compliance and submits the paperwork), and I doubt a southerner would have taken the time to write all of the ‘Summaries' that LEED requires.

I have talked before about the way old Southern Homes recognized and responded to the climate of the south - something LEED calls Regional Priority. My personal memory is that old Southern Homes without air conditioning were more comfortable than new homes are when the AC goes out!

Tim Barron Southern Home DesignAnd now that I've talked about how ‘Green' old Southern Homes are, let's look for a moment at new homes. We have the opportunity today to learn from the past, and to apply new technologies to make our homes ever more energy and resource efficient. I make an effort to do this every time I design a new home. I'm not going to claim that I'm perfect in this endeavor, but each set of home plans informs the next, making them better and better! I would love to design a Green Southern Home for you - just contact me at Tim@TimBarron.com .