For those looking to meld the comforts of fine living with environmental responsibility, make room in your schedule for the debut of Sheldon Crossing's model LEED Platinum home in February.
Nestled atop Manayunk's hills with panoramic views of the city and surrounding suburbs, is Sheldon Crossing, a carriage house development designed to be Greater Philadelphia's first residential LEED building to earn the highest degree possible by the U.S. Green Building Council, without sparing any amenity or luxury.
The 16-unit community on Sheldon Street developed by Denale, Inc. is designed with sustainability and lower costs in mind. Each 3,600 square foot unit will use less energy and water through the incorporation of advanced construction materials, solar panels, vegetative green roofs, insulation, plumbing, HVAC, water purification and smart home automation. The homes are specifically designed to maintain improved indoor air, acoustic, and water quality and resistance to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins.
Sheldon Crossing is the vision of Denale founding principals Denise Lehmann, a green builder, and Alex Plessett, who has 20 years experience as a RE/MAX realtor in the Manayunk area. Incorporated into their ambition to unite green elements with modern comfort are numerous environmentally-friendly attributes, including geothermal heat pumps; Energy Star-compliant windows, doors and appliances; heat recovery ventilators and air purification and exhaust systems to ensure air quality; tankless water heaters; low-flow and dual-flow toilets; and no- and low-VOC paints and carpeting.
Smart Home Automation
Among the most impressive features of these homes is Smart Home Automation, which allows an owner to automatically program or adjust heating and cooling, lighting, audio and security, all geared toward reducing energy consumption. Automation of temperature control allows adjustments of even a few degrees, which translates into energy savings. Smart Home Automation can be accessed from the home or while away via a smart phone or the internet, allowing an owner to be in complete control of energy costs and carbon footprint.
Improved air quality and reduced energy costs are made possible in large part through the design's superior insulation system, which offers a tight seal against heat, cold, toxins and sound. The Icynene spray foam insulation used in the construction expands instantly upon application to the framing to ensure a snug fit. Watch a video of the Icynene spray foam insulation installation. Denale's selection of insulation is based on the material's potential to reduce energy costs by almost 50% and absence of HFC or PBDEs that may have health effects. Even the foundation was specified to be highly durable, impermeable to water and retain heat.
Energy efficiency is bolstered through the incorporation of Styrofoam SIS Brand Structural Insulated Sheathing, which is water resistant, made from mostly post-consumer content and is Energy Star-qualified, and the green roofs, which add insulation to combat summer heat and cold winters, extend roofing life and manage storm water runoff.
Additional standard features of the homes, which start in the $600,000 range, include fireplaces, garages, Viking appliances, granite counter tops, central vacuums, porous paver walkways and driveways and decks constructed with eco-friendly material.