Summit Daily News covers my project

The Summit Daily News has published an article on the McGarry Residence (a.k.a. The Silver Hawk). We are all looking forward to showing it off and educating people during the Summit County Parade of Homes the next two weekends. The complete article is at:

BRECKENRIDGE — From its tile to its ceiling beams, the McGarry house is both friendly to the environment and its inhabitants. And, as Summit County’s first LEED Gold home, the results are stunning.

Workers broke ground in June, and the house was recently completed — just in time for the Parade of Homes tour to start this weekend.

“It’s always been a thing for my wife and I to leave as little a human footprint on the world as humanly possible,” owner Tom McGarry said. “That started from site selection to interviewing the right people. … We wanted to show that we can be kind to the environment, and still have a house that’s very nice, beautiful and functional for a big family.”

The 5,000 square-foot family retreat is located in the hills of Breckenridge, and it sleeps 14 people — perfect for the McGarrys, a family of 10.

“This is the first home in Summit County to be LEED certified by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC),” said Double Diamond builder Arnie Surdyk. “Not only is it certified, but it is GOLD certified. It achieved a HERS rating of 29, and an air exchange rate of .15. Those are both extraordinary numbers, but even more so for a 5,000 square-foot house.”

HERS — or “home energy rating score” is used to evaluate a home’s energy efficiency. The average home has a HERS rating of 100, McGarry said, so its rating is particularly good for a house of that large size.

Surdyk noted that other LEED houses are being build in the area, but the McGarrys’ home is the first to be complete. And its rating is as good as anyone could get.

“We were going for Silver, but we ended up kicking butt and getting it to Gold,” Surdyk said. “We’re thrilled.”

The house doesn’t even have a new-house smell — builders used soy-based stains, and walls are covered in American Clay. There’s no wall-to-wall carpets either — flooring was constructed with wood and concrete.

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