Virginia Living Museum

Exhibit Highlights Green Construction and Gardening

09/03/2009
educational travel
VIRGINIA GABRIELE

You’ve read all those articles about living “green” – maintaining your home in a manner that uses less energy, produces less waste, and is kinder to Mother Earth. Don’t you wish you could go somewhere that would actually show you, up close and hands-on, how it can be done?

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You can.

In June, the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News opened the Goodson Living Green House. In its exhibit house and yard, homeowners, architects and contractors can see all the latest techniques and products they can use to build and maintain an earth-friendly home, presented in a way that makes it visible and understandable to the general public.

The house is the first of its kind in Virginia and one of the first anywhere in the United States.

The 600-square-foot exhibit house includes these features:

  • Recycled building materials, including salvaged lumber and wood-like siding made from recycled paper.
  • Alternatives to PVC piping and to treated lumber for decking.
  • Roofs covered with living plants, which both insulate and reduce water runoff, that can be installed on homes, garages, sheds, porches or businesses.
  • Solar photovoltaic panels, a solar water heater, passive solar heating and radiant floor heating, daylighting and natural ventilation.
  • Alternative wall systems and alternative insulation systems.
  • Collection of storm water in rain barrels and cisterns.
  • Geothermal heat pump and cooling unit.
  • A computer kiosk where visitors can calculate their own carbon footprint.
For more information, call
757-595-1900 or visit www.thevlm.org.
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