Instructor Mark Chalom's project named Green Home of the Year

Albuouquerque Journal
Sunday, November 23, 2008

Santa Fe Residence Named Green Home of the Year

Santa Fe architect Mark Chalom has won the 2009 Su Casa Magazine/Build Green New Mexico award for Green Home of the Year by pushing sustainable building to a new level of overall excellence. Chalom won for the Santa Fe area Bechtold residence, which had earned the top-level Gold certification under Build Green New Mexico. It showed excellence in sustainable building practices by its placement on the land, its use of solar energy for heating, widespread use of nontoxic materials and its innovative approach to combining super insulation with interior adobe walls, according to a news release from Su Casa editor Charles Poling. The magazine is a publication of the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico. The house also has a system for harvesting rainwater and reclaiming household water. The home was built by Custom Homes by John DiJanni.

The Green Home of the Year Awards program is in its second year, honoring builders, designers, architects, homeowners and companies that reach the highest levels of green building. Awards were presented Thursday at the Homebuilders Association's annual dinner. Homes this year competed in two broad divisions: those certified under Build Green New Mexico or U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes certification programs and those that were not certified. Winning the Innovative Green Home award for projects not certified was the EcoHouse Santa Fe, designed and built by Klaus Meyer of EcoHouse Santa Fe, with architectural designer Andreas Frick and energy consultant Joaquin Karcher of One Earth Design in Taos. The home adheres to the "passive house" concept, which means it consumes 20 percent to 30 percent of the energy of a conventional home, the news release said. The builder relied on locally available natural materials such as adobe, locally harvested lumber and recycled newspaper insulation. Interior finishes are toxin- and solvent-free clay plaster. "We saw an impressive array of entries in this year's competition," Poling said in the release. "Green builders in New Mexico are exploring all kinds of new and innovative solutions to problems like how to reduce energy use, conserve water, and create a healthy indoor environment. It's a time of amazing creativity."

Other winners were for best green remodeling project — Earth and Straw, an Albuquerque-based building and remodeling company; for energy efficiency — Kreger Design Build; for water efficiency — Mark Chalom, architect; for lot design, preparation, development and environmental responsibility — Verde Design Group and Sam Sterling Architecture; for use of materials and resource efficiency — EcoHouse Santa Fe; for indoor environmental quality — Artistic Homes and EcoHouse Santa Fe; for operation, maintenance and homeowner education — Panorama Homes; and for environmental impact — The Dream Home, a house in Santa Fe owned and designed by the husband and wife design/build team of Jody Fayas and Cara Leig.