June 2012

GreenBuilt Tour 2012 – Healthy Homes, Healthy Families


June 9-11 in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos Areas


The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) New Mexico Chapter and GreenBuilt Tour Committee are hosting the 13th Annual GreenBuilt Tour, June 9-10 from 10 am to 4 pm in the Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos areas. Twenty-one homes are participating, and 120 volunteers are helping make the tour possible. It all kicks off with a reception on Friday, June 8 from 6-8:30 pm in Algodones, at the first modular home to be included.


GreenBuilt 2012 is designed to showcase sustainable building practices that are healthy, attractive, practical and affordable.


The tour puts current challenges to our vision to create a vibrant and sustainable built environment within a generation in the forefront of our attendees’ minds,” says USGBC-NM Chair Lemoyne Blackshear.


The homes were selected for their uses of renewable energy, high indoor air-quality, water preservation, energy efficiency, retrofitting, re-use of materials, xeriscaping and environmentally friendly products. Many need very little energy to keep them comfortable year round and produce more energy than they use. Some have Build Green NM, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), ENERGY STAR, Passive House ratings, or are awaiting certification.


Innovations on the high-tech side include NM’s first residential use of a thin film PV system. On the low-tech side, you can see a 3,000-gallon cistern built from earth-filled tires and a modern take on earthen building that uses local earthen plasters inside and out.


You will see some very creative salvage and recycling ideas come to fruition,” said Kent Gurley, co-chair of the tour committee. “How about taking old barn wood and making it into a dance floor for your home? Now that’s what we call “repurposing.”


Free guidebooks are available at Whole Foods and La Montanita Co-op locations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, The Merc in Placitas, BookWorks, 4022 Rio Grande in Albuquerque and the Taos Food Co-Op (in OptiMysm), 314 G Paseo del Pueblo Norte. The guidebook is also available online at www.usgbcnm.org/gbt2012.


The entry fee for the tour is $2 per person per home. Visitors can pay at the door of each home or a two-day tour pass can be purchased in advance for $15 at www.usgbcnm.org. For reservations to the reception, go to www.usgbcnm.org, click on chapter events and select June 10. The cost is $35 for USGBC-NM members and $40 for non-members. Food, drinks and live music will be provided.


GreenBuilt 2012 is sponsored by Wells Fargo, Build Green NM, PNM, Davis Kitchens, Construction Reporter, CASA, Affordable Solar, the Alibi, KUNM and Green Fire Times. For more information, call 505.227.0474 or visit www.usgbcnm.org.


Here are a few examples of the homes:


The Kennison Casita, in NE Albuquerque, is a 1,100 SF/700 retrofit built in 1932. The renovation slated to be completed this year features an ENERGY STAR water heater, compact fluorescent light(CFL) light fixtures, solar tube skylights and CFL bulbs for nighttime lighting. It also has a reflective roof, garage walls made from tires filled with compacted earth and covered in El Rey Stucco, and Papercrete used for triangle block wall extension. The existing mature landscape has been preserved. Specific “Healthy Homes” attributes include cork flooring in the bedroom, and original hardwood floors sealed with low-volatile organic compound (VOC) water-based sealer. In addition it has gypsum plaster walls finished with American Clay, and cotton denim insulation in the interior walls.



The Balance Project passive house in Santa Fe, owned and designed by Jonah Stanford of Mojarrab Stanford Architects, is the first Passive House in NM. A Passive House features highly energy-efficient design and is computer modeled using the Passive House Planning Package to optimize the structure for energy savings. Paint has not been used in the building; factory finished finishes have low- or no-VOC treatments and provide fresh air ventilation. Other key traits are solar heating, night-sky cooling through the Energy recovery ventilation (ERV) and triple pane windows with a U-.11 and SHGC .63. Certifications include Passive House and Build Green NM Emerald.



The Barton Studio & Retreat owned by John and Polly Barton in Ojo Caliente was designed by AIA Architect/Planner John Barton, with an emphasis on landscaping to preserve existing vegetation, and includes xeriscaping, native plants and grasses. The design uses a roof rainwater catchment system with filtration and UV treatment for the main water supply, as well as more water that can be delivered to below-grade cisterns. The house also uses a greywater system that recycles wastewater generated by laundry, dishwashing and bathing, which can then be used for irrigation. The “Healthy Homes” emphasis is on low-VOC products, solar tubes for interior spaces, no carpeting or synthetic flooring and natural ventilation with operable openings.


We love this spot on a high desert plateau of northern NM. Temperature extremes here are taken advantage of with the use of a traditional adobe construction and a passive solar design, which keeps the house cool in summer and warm in winter, blending the home into the surrounding earth.

  • John Barton, AIA: Architect and Planner



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Articles

1 thought on “GreenBuilt Tour 2012 – Healthy Homes, Healthy Families”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *