Sarah Lawrence’s Green Dorm Has Lessons for All of Us

Years ago, Sarah Lawrence College in New York bought up all the houses on a street called Mead Way. One of those houses used to be dubbed Warren House, until it got a green makeover in 2008 and became known as Warren Green. About to enter its fifth-year of green-living, the house that provides living space for thirteen Sarah Lawrence students, has been a cornerstone of Sarah Lawrence’s Sustainability Initiative.

Warren Green is the pilot project of Sarah Lawrence College’s Sustainability Committee. This single-family home now houses thirteen, environmentally conscious students.

When the house was renovated, the changes included additional insulation, energy efficient appliances, and solar panels. These renovations can be made to any house, but if you are looking to build a new home there are a selection of energy efficient house plans to look into.

The Le Meilleure Vie house plan is a house designed for energy efficiency. One of its primary features in this area is the use of windows to access plenty of natural light, eliminating the need for electrical lighting.

Keep in mind that a green home does not save the environment on its own, you have to look at how you use the green technology you put into place.  The residents of Warren Green, apply to live in the house and after extensive interviews agree to live by a set of green living rules. These include:

  • Doing full loads of laundry, and using cold water whenever possible.
  • Using electric light as little as possible, and using compact florescent lightbulbs, also known as CFLs.
  • Cooking collectively to minimize the electricity used in your home, minimize the use of small-appliances, and attempt to use your appliances at off-peak hours.
  • Turning off, and unplugging all electronics when not in use.

With these tips, the interior of your home will be just as energy efficient as the exterior. Take a moment to look at the selection energy-efficient house plans, including a selection of exclusive ENERGY STAR® house plans, in our gallery.  All of the ENERGY STAR® house plans are 3,000 square feet or less and are designed for efficiency and affordability without sacrificing style and amenities.

The benefits of these home include reducing your energy costs by 20 to 30 percent and our green house plans include location-specific cooling calculations, water heating specs, and everything you need to know to make sure that your new home will meet the stringent ENERGY STAR® standards.

Planning to build a green home is a remarkable adventure that you will be grateful for in years to come, but whether your plans to build are in the near future or a few years away, then take some of the green living tips above to heart and start lessening your carbon footprint today.

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