Monday, November 05, 2007

A subdivision where LEED is the standard

By TUX TURKEL, Staff Writer November 4, 2007


FREEPORT — The Cranberry Ridge house is a case study of the
market appeal in southern Maine of a single, high-end house
built to the strictest LEED standards.

What's the market for an entire neighborhood of homes that
comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
requirements?

That question soon will be answered less than a mile away from
the Cranberry Ridge house, at the new Kelsey Brook subdivision.
Roads are going in for a 15-lot community that developers say
is the first in Maine requiring all homes to meet minimum LEED
standards.

"We know there is a market, or there will be over the next few
years, for high-performance homes," said Lisa Fernandes, vice
president of marketing sales at Whitten Properties, the listing
broker.

LEED is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building
Council, an industry trade group. LEED standards focus on
sustainable development, water and energy savings, material
selection and indoor air quality. Homes are certified based on a
point system for a certain level of LEED certification. The
Cranberry Ridge house is rated platinum, the top level, although
that won't be required at Kelsey Brook.

The LEED certification has value for buyers, Fernandes said. It
verifies the home's performance, instead of just giving it a vague
"green" label. The requirement that all homes be LEED certified
protects homeowner investment, because each neighbor's
homes will be of similar quality.

Kelsey Brook also may attract buyers because it abuts
conservation land and a working farm. The project is owned by
Andre and Mary LeMaistre, who also own Mitchell Ledge Farm.
The couple recently sold much of the farmland to the Freeport
Conservation Trust.

Homes in Kelsey Brook won't be built on speculation. Buyers are
being offered three architecturally designed home packages,
ranging from $498,000 to more than $700,000. A typical
higher-end home will be 2,800 square feet and have four
bedrooms. To maintain traditional styles, homes will incorporate
south-facing windows for passive solar benefits, but probably
not solar panels.

"It doesn't have to look like a space ship," Fernandes said.

Copyright © 2007 Blethen Maine Newspapers

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