Gail of Green Living

GREEN Medical Center Home for Sale

3703 Drummond

This home for sale is in the Texas Medical Center area in Braes Heights.  This home proves you don’t have to be “hippy” to be green!

I am going to tell you all about it over several postings, because the design and building processes were thought through so well, with every detail considered, and every system working with the total package.  I am confident you will learn something about green building in Houston, TX, and the materials necessary to make the total package efficient.  The owner calls it a Building System that is specific to the U.S. Gulf coast.  So this system addresses the environmental stressors on a home, as well as sustainability, efficiency and long-term cost issues.  Instead of “traditional” home building, which is done for the day of sale, this one was built for the long haul!

The owner consulted with the inventor of an amazing radiant barrier, and he referred the owner to Texas A&M’s Energy Systems Lab.  The Aggies committed to a project where they would design, build, study and complete the Building System.  Together with the owner, they researched all the sub-systems typical in a house—the walls, attic, roof, HVAC, electrical, rain-water collection, etc., over 300 products and technologies.  They narrowed the list to include products and technologies that actually do work together.

The benchmark for the decision-making was always, “What makes sense?”.  They did not throw in materials and systems just for the sake of “going green”.  The return of investment was critical in their decisions.  Todd Rice, of Rice Residential Designs, took the components of the home that were chosen, and designed a beautiful home that fits in with other new homes in Braes Heights.  Interfield Group was the engineering firm chosen to carry out the ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) construction, and this group knew how to take the project through the “Fortified” rating process.  This was the first home in Houston to achieve this rating.

Choosing a builder became a challenge, because the green builders wanted to charge way too much, so the owner decided to form his own company, Durable Residential Builders, LLC.  Rice Residential Design introduced him to Jim Kuchenbrod, who had experience with this construction method, and he seemed to have the same level of passion as the owner, so they became partners.

In my next posting,  I will define the elements of this green home.  Meanwhile, if you are interested in seeing this home for sale or learning more about it, please contact me through my website,


If we just had rain!

My Knollwood neighbor has the most amazing rain collection system you could ever imagine!

4 tanks, each holds 650 gallons of rain water

About six weeks ago, we had 3″ of rain in one day and my neighbor’s tanks were 60% filled!  That is the only measurable rain we have had since…well I can’t remember!  The rain runs off the light-colored metal roof into various places that keep leaves and other rubbish out of the water.  They chose the metal roof for their new home, not only for the rain water collection, but because it would reflect heat and have a long life.

The condensation from the air conditioner runs in to this 80 gallon barrel, and he figures the air conditioner produces a gallon per day, at least.

The water in these tanks is meant to take care of watering all the yard and landscaping.  In case we ever have a few days of rain, there are two 1,000 gallon reservoirs on the other side of the house.

Notice the foundation required for the tanks.  Now, if we could just get some rain, we could gather around and watch it work!

Do you know anyone with such a sophisticated rain water system?  I think this is incredible!