LEEDing: First Albemarle 'gold' house certified


Alchemy? The builder made Gold for under $200 per foot.
Photo courtesy UpStream Construction

Central Virginia now has a Gold-certified LEED house– only the second in the state.


"I'm elated," says builder Terry Herndon, the owner of UpStream Construction. "I'm just honored to be a part of it."

Considered the most stringent set eco-construction standards, LEED ratings also include silver and bronze levels. So why did Herndon go for the gold?

"The owners are Brian and Joan Day, and he's the executive director of the North American Association of Environmental Education," says Herndon, "so this is his life's passion."

Builder and clients celebrated Friday, April 17, with a ceremony at the Home and Garden Show at John Paul Jones Arena. However, the certificate was already well in hand, having been issued by the U.S. Green Building Council on March 9.

The 3,200-square-foot house perches aside a mountain in the Emerald Ridge subdivision over Mint Springs Park in Crozet. Among its eco-friendly options are insulated concrete forms, high-efficiency windows, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and all the wood has been Forest Stewardship Council-certified.

Herndon proudly notes that all this eco-friendliness was delivered with wallet-friendliness– with costs coming in under $200 per square foot. And there's something else. Like the builder pictured on the cover of this special section, Terry Herndon is a woman.

"A woman in building has been like a fish swimming upstream until lately," says Herndon. "But attitudes have been changing."


This story is a part of the Green Home Fall 2009 special.