When you go on spring break to warmer weather, you might not necessarily be thinking about saving the planet — much less about sustainable design! But there are environmentally friendly options when it comes to accommodations. With a little searching, you might be able to find a place to stay that meets your needs, is healthy, energy efficient and good for the environment at the same time.
The Gruene House (pronounced “green”) is the first LEED registered beach house on the Gulf Coast, located at Cinnamon Shore on Mustang Island in Port Aransas, Texas. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) movement was founded in 1993. Since then, it has changed the way we think about how buildings, homes and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated. Cinnamon Shore is a New Urbanism development started in 1999. It was designed with LEED principles in mind, including walkability, access to public transportation, close proximity to restaurants, cafes, market, entertainment, pools, ponds and parks.
LEED homes like The Gruene House are built to provide healthy living environments that use less energy and water. This means lower utility bills as well as clean indoor air and incorporation of safe building materials. The Gruene House was designed by Brenner Design and built with these criteria in mind.
The exterior and roof are built primarily of SIPS (Structurally Insulated Panel System). The SIPS are extremely energy efficient and are a renewable resource. SIPS panels are designed to be more hurricane resistant than traditional stick-built framing. The house also incorporates a “breakaway” feature that allows water to flow through the house with minor damage in case of a tidal surge.
The interiors utilize low VOC paints (low off-gassing) and FSC certified (renewable) wood products like flooring and cabinetry. Porcelain tile flooring and granite counters were locally sourced. Plumbing fixtures incorporate water-saving devices, and LED light fixtures are utilized.
The Gruene House, slated for completion by May 31, 2017, is not only healthy and sustainable, it is beautiful as well and a perfect addition to this little slice-of-heaven community. Cinnamon Shore, just steps to the beach, preserves natural features like a 200’ sand dune habitat, two fishing lakes and park spaces. Sand cranes, sea turtles and pelicans are a common sight in the development.
For your next spring break, family vacation or corporate retreat, think sustainable! Check out Cinnamon Shore and the Gruene House.
If you’ve been considering a more environmentally friendly design/building project and want to learn more, please contact Brenner Design. We’d be happy to talk with you.