Looks can be deceiving; what has a traditional look on the outside just might be "green" on the inside. Cliffs Cottage at Furman, a Southern Living Showcase Home, was recently built on the campus of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina (www.furmancliffscottage.com). The showcase home has a rustic look from the outside but is chock full of ideas to introduce energy efficiency and conservation to your own home.
A visit to the Web site, or better yet, the house itself, shows that the designers and builders of Cliffs Cottage got it right. From the bamboo flooring to the solar panels in the roof, the 3,400-square-foot residential home has all the latest technological innovations in sustainable living, inside and out.
The commitment to environmentally sound design doesn't end with the house. Walkways around the house and gardens, which are made with Pine Hall Brick's StormPave permeable clay pavers, were specified and installed in keeping with the house's overall emphasis on sustainability, which includes stormwater management.
"The clay pavers were a perfect addition to this project," said Ed Marshall, director of special projects for Furman University and project director for the Cliffs Cottage project. "It is really a marriage of design and function. What a beautiful product that meets our criteria for sustainability perfectly."
Using a "best practice" permeable pavement installation design, the pavers are installed with open-graded aggregates, allowing rainwater to permeate down through the walkway surface to the groundwater below, which acts as a natural filter, instead of flowing across the surface to a storm drain and picking up pollutants along the way.
Laura Schwind, a landscape architect with Pine Hall Brick, said that the StormPave pavers and the companion line, RainPave, enable both commercial and residential customers to have the aesthetic beauty and traditional look of authentic clay pavers, while helping the environment.
"Bricks, by their nature, are green, because they are made of dirt and water and will virtually last forever," said Schwind. "In addition to that, the permeable clay pavers have the look of traditional pavers while helping to prevent stormwater runoff. They're the best of both worlds."