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Welcome

Welcome to the PlayHaven Green Building Project!

My name is Bobbi Walker. I have spent the last 30+ years dreaming of the day when I would be able to build an earth-friendly home. When I first started researching the possibility, there was very little available to give me hope that it could ever be accomplished... unless I was willing to do it all myself.

Over the years, hope turned into optimism and optimism has turned into joy. Now, there are:

  • architects who design sustainable, net-zero energy houses,
  • builders who use energy efficient construction techniques,
  • contractors who have networks to build sustainably,
  • energy raters who make sure it is energy efficient and works the way it should,
  • financial institutions who understand that this is more than a "niche" market,
  • renewable energy products that are more affordable to the average homeowner,
  • products made from reclaimed and recycled materials,
  • and lots and lots of information on the internet (assuming you know what the questions are).

The PlayHaven Green Building Project is the culmination of those dreams. In addition to being our home, it is so very much more than that!

It has always been my intention to make a showcase of products and techniques that the average homeowner could show to their contractor or builder and say "see, that's what I want in my house."

And even better yet, an example that contractors and builders can show to their clients of what kind of energy efficiency and sustainable features can be incorporated into their projects.

And even further still, a place where many options and ways of doing things can be used in a single location to show what choices there are and comparisons can be made.

This all being said, the PlayHaven Green Building Project is available (by appointment) for physical tours; both during renovation/construction and ever after. AND, this website provides virtual tours for anyone interested in what we're doing but who are unable to make the trip to the Kansas City MO (U.S.A.) area.

Please visit the "Sponsors" page to connect with the businesses who are so graciously working with us; and to learn how to become a part of the project. Monetary Donations are accepted there.

"Project List" Section will give you the details and photos of each current project.

Information about past projects can be downloaded from the General Store for a small fee.

 

GOALS

The goal of the PlayHaven Green Building Project is the creation of:

  1. An existing residence 'green' renovation that incorporates:
    • High efficiency and conservation,
    • Improved indoor air quality,
    • Sustainable material features,
    • The addition of renewable energy production,
    • And becomes a successful, self-sufficient organic farm.

  2. New construction of a complex that:
    • Is energy efficient, and meets ENERGY STAR and LEED® for Homes qualifications,
    • Uses renewable energy systems,
    • Combines new technology with recycled and reclaimed products,
    • Is designed to meet the needs of the homeowners, and,
    • Promotes a sustainable lifestyle.

The PHGB Project website is available so that any interested party can:

  • Follow the progress of improvements and construction,
  • Get information about the energy efficiency and green building techniques used,
  • Find information about the products used, and
  • Learn to incorporate these features into their next project.



GREENOVATION OF EXISTING RESIDENTIAL BUILDING

This link takes you to the overview page for the current green projects of the Existing Residence.


New Construction of a Residential Building is Currently On-Hold
This link takes you to the General Store where the Adobe Reader Files (PDF) of the Archived Webpages
are located. There you will find the presentation for the Proposed New Construction/Residential -- PlayHaven West.



Background

Many years ago, I discovered the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) and its LEED® Program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). And, although at that time it was only for commercial construction, I decided that it was a good place to start networking. Surely, one of those members would know some residential architect or contractor or builder who would be interested in working with me on my sustainable house project...THEY DID!

And so, I was introduced to Ken Riead (of Hathmore Technologies, LLC). Ken is an Energy Rater and had also just finished building his own home (The Replete Residence) to showcase what energy efficiency options were available at that time to any homeowner.

Over the years, I have had the great fortune to become friends with Ken and Sharla Riead. Most recently, we co-authored a green building tool: DYO® Kits: Green Building Decision Kit. (DYO® Kits is a division of Hathmore Technologies, LLC.) I am very proud to be associated with such a fine group of people and comprehensive product. Unfortunately, this product is currently out-of-print... please contact me if you are interested in it.

Hathmore Technologies, LLC has been engaged to be the Energy Rating company for the PHGB Project. Additionally, they provided consulting on the HVAC and renewable energy systems AND will oversee the LEED® for Homes certification process of any new construction.

Anyone who has built a home will tell you that there are peaks and valleys in the process... from soaring heights of excitement to deep, dark valleys of despair. We had some trouble when it came to architects (this is putting it mildly - set us back two years all told). But we made it out of the valley and ...

Ken introduced my husband and I to Roy Brown. Roy had been designing energy efficient, environmentally-friendly homes since the 1970s. Luckily for us, he was up to the task of taking my years of designing and re-designing the house and providing us with an end product that fits us to a "T". The house is designed in the American Bungalow style (at 2500+ square feet, no one would ever confuse this house for an actual bungalow... but after living in a 900 sq.ft. bungalow for 17 years, I am ready for a bit of space!). So, the plans were finally ready to take to a contractor.

The saga continues... click here to visit the General Store and download the archived Status Reports to read more.



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