One of the first homes in Northern New Mexico to earn the LEED Platinum Certification will be on the New Mexico Green Build Tour on Saturday (June 8) and Sunday (June 9).

The home will be open to visitors 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Platinum Certification is the highest standard.

The Valdez project called The Barn was designed and built by John Briscoe and combines a small home as a part of a larger building, which serves as a large workshop and studio for him and his wife, Anita.  

Sustainable features of the home include site orientation to optimize solar collection and minimize noise and light pollution from the adjacent road. Waste water is treated with a system designed to protect the ground water and recycle all waste water. Runoff water from the roof is used for irrigation of the landscaping.

Among the home’s other green features are:

  • South-facing windows are shaded in the cooling season; north-facing windows minimized.
  • Passive cooling via roof overhangs, shading devices on the southern and western sides with operable windows for natural ventilation.
  • The roof assembly contains cellulose insulation in the structural cavity and rigid insulation above the deck.
  • Walls are R-23 Insulated concrete forms on the first floor, earth-bermed on the north, east, and west and R-44 structural insulated panel for upper walls.
  • No waste products from construction were taken to the Taos landfill and no Dumpster was used.  
  • Low volatile organic compound paint was applied to all painted walls.
  • A heat recovery ventilation system with HEPA filter assures good air quality in this well-sealed house.
  • The home has no fireplace or wood-burning stove. With abundant solar collection during the winter, the concrete floors on both levels plus the stone tile finished wall serve as heat storage and, with some gas-fired radiant floor heating, the home is consistently warm and cozy during cold months.
  • The use of rusting metal and stucco exterior walls and a galvanized metal roof compliment the prevailing home and barn construction in the Valdez valley.

Directions:  From the Old Blinking Light intersection turn right onto the Ski Valley Road (State Road 150); turn left onto State Road 230. Continue north, through intersection with Rim Road, go down the hill and through the village of Valdez. The home is located at 391 State Highway 230, adjacent to mile marker 4. The Green Build New Mexico website usgbcnm.org gives additional information about the tour, this and other homes on the tour.

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