Sustainability begins at home, where our environmental footprint is heavy. More than 30% of our carbon emissions are produced by our shelters. Live Green, Live Smart™ was founded to help ordinary people find ways to make practical changes in their daily behavior and in their shelters to preserve, protect, and restore the earth’s environmental integrity.
The organization’s main initiative in 2007 was to remodel an energy inefficient and low performance rambler in Minnetonka, Minnesota-a post-war suburban neighborhood. Live Green, Live Smart’s The Sustainable House™ is a LEED for Homes Pilot Project. Remodeled and rehabilitated into a more resource-efficient and healthy structure, the House still fits right into its neighborhood… but take a closer look.
The team that designed and built this 2,300 square foot green home incorporated multiple renewable energy systems, durable green materials, environmentally safe construction practices, a hundred-year home aesthetic, universal design, and a commitment to a greener future.
The landscaping was designed to conserve and restore environmental quality. The implanted rain gardens capture surface water runoff before it reaches the storm sewers; cisterns store rainwater from the roof gutters for use in the low maintenance natural grass and flower gardens. A permaculture zone and raised organic gardening beds provide natural habitat as well as food for the homeowners.
For the next three to five years, we will measure the performance and quality of all these systems and materials. The information will eventually be available online in real time.
Live Green, Live Smart’s team of researchers, designers, builders and architects are providing tours of The Sustainable House and consulting on individual projects. Homeowners already involved in greening their shelters are invited to join the 50,000 Green Homes Initiative, an online community at livegreenlivesmart.org sharing information, photos, and encouragement for building and remodeling sustainable homes.