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Building your green dream home


Ginny Haines invite public to open house on Saturday

by: CLIFF NEWELL - Ginny Haines was helped out a lot by architect Andre DeBar in remodeling her home along sustainability lines. When it comes to being green, her house is cool.Ginny Haines has built her sustainability dream house, so now she wants people to come.

Haines will open her home at 2134 Wembley Park Road to the public on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Her house is not only ultra green, but it is built for aging-in-place.

“I want to live in this house until the very end,” Haines said. “I don’t want to move again. I probably went overboard but that’s OK.”

Now that her home is ready for living in, Haines wants it to influence other people to remodel their homes along sustainable lines, as she did, or even better build for sustainability from the ground up.

Haines is already building energy credits, meaning her house puts out more energy than it takes in, thanks to all of the solar panels she has installed.

The Haines home’s green features include use of materials from the previous house, disassembling and re-using of structural members, siding removing and reapplied, wood flooring taken up and relaid, renovating the north side breezeway and back patio, locating the original garage and re-installing it into the internal space of the house, installing a more sustainable roof and much more.

Haines did not do everything she wanted to do (her plan was quite ambitious), but there are more things she plans to add as time goes on.

“The price of houses in Lake Oswego dropped, so it was affordable enough,” Haines said. “I thought it was now or never.”

Although Haines had devoted much of her career to the environmental field (she works for the Clackamas County Office of Sustainability), she had never attempted a project like this before. She got a big push in the green direction from people like Susan Millhauser, sustainability coordinator for the city; Matt Briggs, Lake Oswego’s guru of green building; and architect Andre DeBar, who specializes in green building. Millhauser has seen Haines’ home and pronounced it “cool.”

“Ginny’s home has a highly efficient energy system and the air quality is good,” Millhauser said. “It’s heat recovery ventilator can take the warmth out of the air or it can be reversed and take out cool air.”

“I feel strongly about showing that these systems are very livable,” Haines said. “The homes that result from a sustainability remodeling can look conventional, not weird.”

“Having this can broaden the community of sustainability,” Millhauser said. “It can help people see the big picture.”

Haines’ picture gets even bigger with the aging-in-place aspect of the remodeling. Her home was built to better accommodate aging people (including herself some day) with such features as handicapped access.

The Green Home Tour can provide a glimpse of the future.

“I hope people will come here and be inspired,” Haines said.

For more information, visit ci.oswego.or.us/sustainability/green-home-aging-place-remodel-open-house. For the tour, parking is available across the street at Uplands Elementary School.