Gallery: Gabled LEED Platinum Newcomer House in Georgia Cost Just $125 ...

Passive design ensures the home is naturally heated in winter and cooled in summer
Passive design ensures the home is naturally heated in winter and cooled in summer

We would need about 5 pages to list all of this project’s awesome eco-credentials, so we’ll stick with a few of the major highlights. Not only does the Newcomer house use the same amount of energy as a home 1/3 of its well-disguised 2,632 foot size, but the glass-clad front gable and large windows allow all kinds of light to penetrate the interior without too much solar gain.

Clad in Tennessee fieldstone, stucco and white clapboard in keeping with the southern cottage style so prevalent in the region, the home also boasts reclaimed heart pine floors and fixtures made from salvaged barn wood. Extreme air tightness and insulation combined with a reflective roof and energy star windows further ensure that this home will never usurp more than its fair share of energy resources. Water is solar-heated, and a low emissions wood burning stove keeps the house warm in winter. This is only the 7th home in Georgia to receiving the USGBC’s platinum confidence!

+ Bork Architecture Design


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  1. slposocco August 15, 2012 at 9:55 am

    What a beautiful home! I love following LEED projects. Can you share what type of insulation was used?
    Sandy Posocco

  2. chucklohre January 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Congratulations! Glad to see others are dispelling the myth of expensive LEED projects. We just got LEED Platinum for $4 per sf for Commercial Interiors. Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy, Cincinnati, OH

  3. aghbuilders January 17, 2012 at 9:42 am

    We feel the same way. It is still tough to bring sustainability to the public at the right price. We build green homes, but many of them are out of the reach of the common person. With that in mind we are actually launching a Green pre fab company that will not only be green due to a more controlled building environment, but the homes will be green as well. Part of the reason we went this route was so that we could lower the price per square foot on our sustainable homes and bring more of them into existance. When I saw the link to this blog, and the pricing of your home I had to take a look. Thanks for the inspiration!
    -Ernest Falconer

  4. loribork January 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you, Juan, for your kind words. As for whether such a house could be built for the same amount in the northeast, unfortunately, I think it would be difficult. I don’t think the material costs would be too much more, but labor and land costs are probably a good bit higher than they are here. I know that the 100K LEED Platinum house was built in Philadelphia, so they mananged to do it. You just need to simplify other aspects of the design and finishes. I’ve heard it said that incorporating many of the “green” and energy-savings measures could add about 5% to the cost of standard construction. I think that is probably a pretty safe estimate. 5% factored into a 30 year mortgage really isn’t that much. Especially when you factor the monthly savings in utilities. Many say that the utilities savings will completely offset that slight increase in your mortgage. I hope that helps…..

  5. Green Joy January 14, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Wonderful house! Slap an LEED Platinum rating on a simple yet beautifully designed house and you’ve hooked me. I think I’m in love. Thanks a lot for this inspiration in design, Ms. Bork. Cheers!

    Juan Miguel Ruiz (Going Green)

  6. L. de Sa January 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Can this be achieved in the North East?

  7. loribork January 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    That is, I meant $100 per square foot. Unfortunately I have not been able to design a home for less than $100 total ;-).

  8. loribork January 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you for the write up on my home. I do hope that it helps to inspire other potential homeowners and builders to not be afraid of the cost of green design or the appropriateness of incorporating modern design into a traditional neighborhood. We are fortunate that the cost of construction is so affordable here in much of the southeast. I’ve done other homes certified under Southfaces’s Earthcraft program (similar to LEED but local to the southeast) for less than $100. That does not even consider the savings that will be seen in monthly utility bills. I believe that good green design should be accessible to everyone.

  9. bking January 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

    It really is a remarkable design considering the context. Lori’s work is really starting to turn heads in Athens and the Southeast.

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