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Greenest of the green homes

Doctor-entrepreneur puts together a green home to demonstrate it can be done
by Rocky Landsverk
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Suave Lobodzinski, a doctor and engineer, helped build the first artificial heart. He applied some of that same creativity when he built his new home in Mammoth Lakes, California.

Lobodzinski is a professor of electrical and biomedical engineering at California State University-Long Beach and an adjunct professor of medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He’s putting his education and ingenuity to full use with an 8,000-square-foot log home that he hopes sets a new standard for green building.

From lamb’s wool insulation to a radiant heating system he invented himself, Lobodzinski wants to demonstrate that it is possible to live in grand fashion and still be “green.” So he had Brian Moore of Brian Moore Log Homes help him build one of the greenest homes in the country.

“People in the U.S. like to build the same way as they have for 50 years,” Lobodzinski says. “I wanted to challenge that, and I wanted to prove it to everyone that you could indeed build an energy-efficient house in Mammoth Lakes, which has about 300 sun-days a year. This will be the very first energy-efficient house in Mammoth Lakes.

“The log-home lifestyle embodies harmony with nature. People can improve the health of their home and reduce their impact on the environment with new design and construction techniques, giving them an even closer connection with the natural surroundings.”

What goes into a green home? Here are a few of the energy-saving highlights of the Lobodzinski/Brian Moore Log Homes green home:
• Geothermal heating and cooling
• Solar circuit for hot water (solar will provide 60-70 percent of the home’s hot-water needs, for domestic hot water and radiant in-floor heating)
• Ductless heating and ventilation system
• 95 percent efficient heat-exchanger system for radiant heat
• Propane fireplaces
• Tankless condensing boiler/water heater (95% efficient)
• EnergyStar appliances
• Double-log insulation (each log has two insulation gaskets with sheep’s wool in between)
• Low-E, insulated windows
• Exterior basement insulation (4 inches below grade) and 2-inches of extruded foam insulation above grade
• Exhaust fresh-air ventilation system with heat exchangers
• Solid wood doors and windows (no particle-board materials or similar that contain chemicals like formaldehyde)
• Flood-free and vented basement design (ducts take hot air from the vaulted ceilings and bring it down to the basement for circulation)
• Metal roofing with reflective paint (reflects about 30 percent of the solar heat)
• Bionic radiant in-floor heating system that comprises grooved rigid insulated base lined with galvanized sheet metal that greatly improves efficiency, developed by Lobodzinski
• Dimensionally stable carbonized solid wood planks suitable for radiant heated floors
• Water-based natural resin stains for exterior and interior walls
• All natural materials in the interior, and no carpeting
• On-site water run-off capture
• Eco-stone porous paving system

More about this home, including more pictures, appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of Custom Wood Homes magazine.

Published in Custom Wood Homes
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