Santa Barbara Coastal News


Santa Barbara homeowners make LEED-certified updates to luxury real estate

23 Apr 2014 5:11 PM
Breathe life into your Palm Beach kitchen

Across California - and throughout much of the United States - environmentally-conscious individuals have sought to reduce their impact on surrounding areas by changing the ways in which they live their everyday lives. Although many people have attempted to do so by purchasing an electric car or hybrid vehicle, local owners of luxury real estate have experienced greater success through making effective updates to their homes.

As these projects can serve to enhance both the estate's aesthetic appeal and overall functionality, they are increasingly being undertaken in many locations within the Golden State - including Santa Barbara.

Local residence recognized as future of sustainability
For instance, the work recently completed at 3Palms - a 2,450-square-foot. three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home overlooking the Pacific Ocean - was recently lauded as an example of what the future of real estate might look like, according to Santa Barbara Seasons. Constructed using eco-friendly building materials and boasting a modern floor plan, this lavish beachfront house is outfitted with contemporary implements aimed at sustainability, and high-end style. Project designer John Turturro explained that the final product represents a group effort undertaken by numerous industry professionals. Combined, their planning helped the property obtain a LEED for Homes Platinum Certification - as it doesn't rely on mechanics or engineering to function, and makes use of durable, cost-effective materials.

"By selecting stainless steel and titanium - which requires little to no maintenance - you will significantly extend the life of the building while also reducing the amount of metals and other materials from entering landfills," Bryan Henson, president of Allen Associates Construction, told the news source. "Owners need to balance upfront costs with a long-term perspective."

Area homeowners can effectively update properties
Although 3Palms was built with sustainability in mind, there are a number of projects homeowners can undertake to upgrade their current estate. If you have been looking for creative ways to upgrade your existing property's features, and possess a desire to lessen your impact on the environment, incorporating any of the following environmentally-friendly design trends into your upscale manse could prove extremely beneficial.

Use sustainable building materials - When deciding on the interior design scheme that will be used throughout your home, it may be in your best interest to use sustainable materials. Installing shelves and cabinets made from wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, or exterior siding made from eco-friendly clay-finished plaster walls can cut down on maintenance costs over time, as they require little upkeep, HGTV reported. Additionally, concrete is an effective building material, as it is easy to manipulate, very durable and relatively inexpensive.

Purchase energy-efficient appliances - Technological developments made in recent years have allowed homeowners to complete ordinary tasks with heightened efficiency, enabling them to save money on regular expenses. For example, swapping out old appliances with ones that boast Energy Star labels - a program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy - can help homeowners consume less energy, Better Homes and Gardens. By routinely using smaller amounts of electricity, heat and water, individuals can enjoy lower utility bills each month, which can translate into substantial savings over time.

Focus on the flooring - While hardwood flooring provides living areas with a decidedly cosmopolitan appearance, the same effect can be achieved for a fraction of the environmental impact. In fact, materials like natural linoleum, recycled-plastic carpet, cork, eco-friendly carpet tiles and biodegradable hemp can all create a sophisticated aesthetic in residential properties. Each offers opportunities for personalization, as individuals can choose the color and style that best suits their space.