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PRESS RELEASES
Building Our "Green" House
By Lisa Sharkey - Good Housekeeping

The day Paul Gleicher and Lisa Sharkey closed on their new house, an 1885 New York City brownstone that was in "horrendous shape," according to Paul, was doubly important: It was also their anniversary. And, perhaps in part because of the portentous date, the couple decided to do more than just renovate the townhouse; they decided to transform it from a multi-apartment tenement into a family-friendly haven using only green building products and materials. Paul, an architect with his New York City-based firm, Gleicher Design Group, had been interested in environmentally friendly design for some time. But it was a chance meeting with Jim and Nancy Chuda, who had built a green house to benefit their foundation, the Children's Health Environmental Coalition, that inspired them. The choice would also set an example for their three children, Greg, 15, Doug, 13, and Casey, seven. "It's the whole idea of 'teach your children well,'" says Lisa.

Decision made, Paul and Lisa -- along with contractor George Constant and Gleicher Design in-house interior designer David Barry -- spent hours researching. They checked Websites like the U.S. Green Building Council's (usgbc.org), attended trade shows, and even visited factories to find products that met their earth-friendly credentials. Their quest paid off. Paul and Lisa found more green products than they'd ever dreamed existed. In the process, they discovered that green can mean many things: that the product was produced using sustainable or recycled materials, that it was produced locally (reducing air pollution from gas-powered transportation), or that it saves energy or water. "Right now, building green does cost more up front," says Paul. "But there are government programs that offer tax credits, and some of the products offer a long-term savings in energy use or maintenance, so it all evens out in the end." Of course, the peace of mind that comes from living in a healthy, green house counts for something as well, says Lisa: "It's been so much fun to be able to tell people that all the things we're using are good not just for us personally but also for the environment."


The master suite is painted in a no-VOC paint from Sherwin-Williams. Custom furnishings were designed by Gleicher Design Group and fabricated by Furnature from formaldehyde-free materials.






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