On the market: A better kind of house
Published 12:16 pm, Monday, September 5, 2016
NEW CANAAN — The family that built the environmentally-friendly colonial masterpiece at 482 Trinity Pass Road believes strongly in the words of author Sidney Sheldon: “Try to leave the Earth a better place than when you arrived.”
A decade ago they seriously considered the footprint they were leaving on this planet and the resources they were consuming. They left their 10,000-square-foot house in Weston to adopt a lifestyle that less adversely affected the environment. The resulting 4,929-square-foot house and property they created not only pays homage to the Earth, it does so without sacrificing comfort and modern amenities.
This award-winning, eco-friendly/green residence offers state-of-the-art sustainable living. It is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified and was built with recycled, reclaimed and responsible materials including Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood harvested from sustainably-managed forests.
They harness sun power for heat and electricity, although there are back-up systems including a propane-fueled generator in case of emergencies. They collect rainwater in cisterns to irrigate the gardens and they installed a special odorless compost toilet tank in the master bath, although they do use the property’s well water for consuming and bathing.
In their thoroughness, they even designed the property on permaculture; that is “the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient,” according to an online dictionary, or, as the homeowner said: “living in harmony with nature.” All the plants on the 4.61-acre parcel are native. No invasive species are found there. The entire front “lawn” is a meadow of wildflowers that attracts native birds and butterflies. The family planted organically-grown fruit trees - apples, pears, peaches, plums and cherries, and deer fencing is in place.
Construction began in 2008 and the family moved in a year later. So tight is the interior envelop that they don’t need to turn on heat in winter. Between the house and charging their electric car the family said their electric bill was just over $1,200 last year.
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Although the roof looks like slate, the tiles are actually recycled rubber and plastic that have a 50-year warranty.
Every inch of the house is designed to minimize impact on the environment without sacrificing comfort or aesthetics. The curbside view is rustically beautiful and so is the interior. The entrance contains a covered front porch and the door has an attractive sunburst-patterned stained glass window pane.
Inside, the gourmet kitchen features IceStone counters comprising a mix of recycled glass and cement. The flooring is made of reclaimed oak. Appliances - including a GE Monogram five-burner induction range and Sub-Zero refrigerator, are rated even higher than the standard Energy Star.
The dining and family rooms are open and have cement, radiant heat flooring. The dining room has a wet bar, built-in cabinetry and a door to the side gardens, pergola, patio, spa and in-ground swimming pool with an ionized water system requiring no chlorine.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
ADDRESS: 482 Trinity Pass Road
FEATURES: eco-friendly/green home, sustainable materials, heated in-ground swimming pool, spa, 4.61-acre property, river, pond, water views, zoned solar heat and hot water system, solar electricity, generator, stone terraces, wet bar, thermal insulated windows, attached three-car garage, gray water system, energy recovery ventilation system, three fireplaces (two interior, one outdoors), wood stove, root cellar, gazebo, labyrinth, sprinkler system, audio system, workshop, skylights, fire pit, well water, septic system, four bedrooms, four full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: West Elementary, Saxe Middle, New Canaan High School
MILL RATE: 16.312 mills
In the family room there is a Rumford fireplace. French doors open to a large sun porch with retractable screens. The first floor master bedroom has a door to this porch, as well as a cathedral ceiling, ceiling fan and knotty pine bead board walls. The master bath has a joint space that allows someone to shower in one area while someone bathes in the other simultaneously.
On the second floor, there are three bedrooms, a study with a gas log fireplace, an office, and lots of closets and other storage spaces. One bedroom is en suite. The others share a hall bath.
The lower level contains two mechanical rooms, a large finished area and unfinished rooms that could be a guest or au pair suite. There is a wood-burning stove in the recreation or game room. There is also a naturally-cooled wine/root cellar, and changing room and full bath for the pool.
Two rooms on this level have doors to a covered patio with an outdoor stone fireplace. The property contains a pond and a portion of the West River, which feeds the pond, continues to the local reservoir.
This house feels a million miles away from civilization but it is close to neighboring Pound Ridge, New York, where there is a convenience store and market. Downtown New Canaan and the train station are only about five minutes away.
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Gabrielle DiBianco of Higgins Group Real Estate at 203-895-6724 or email@example.com or Barbara Cleary of Halstead Property at 203-554-0847 or BCleary@Halstead.com.