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Efficiency Done Right the First Time

By Steven Castle
Home control and energy monitoring systems, plus thorough planning, play key roles in making this green home energy-efficient.

You never hear the saying, The first time's a charm. That's because doing something new invites all sorts of unwelcome obstacles and surprises. But when you're building a houseor more specifically, a very green and energy-efficient house, you have to get it right the first timedespite the many hurdles.

That's what developer Anthony Lauto encountered in the five years he took to plan and build his family's vacation home in Montauk, N.Y., on the southeastern tip of Long Island. Lauto proceeded methodically, as this was his first foray into green home design. The now-finished summer haven is constructed to the highest green home standards, utilizes cutting-edge home technologies to help boost its energy efficiencyand thanks to Lauto's careful planning represents very few regrets for the homeowner/builder.

I wanted to build a home that gives back to the land and is environmentally conscious, says Lauto. I also wanted to make sure it was affordable to maintain and low-maintenance.

The 7,800-square-foot home is built to Energy Star for Home energy-efficiency standards and uses just 25 percent of the electricity of a comparably sized home. It is projected to achieve an annual energy cost savings of more than $7,200 per year, or more than $600 per month.

The home is also the ninth in the state of New York to achieve Gold Certification through the National Association of Home Builders' Green Building Program, and it is being considered for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.

Click here for photos.

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