Five-Star Green Home Visit

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Tom and Peggy Kolnowski at their five-star green home in Driftwood, Texas. Tom is the Founder of Digitized House Magazine, so I knew I would be in for a treat.

The peacefulness and calmness of their home captivated me from the moment I saw it. Everything was in harmony and – more importantly – everything was built to maximize sustainable practices and minimize destruction of valuable resources. And it is just beautiful.

The house capitalizes on natural light and was built to minimize harmful effects on human health and the environment, safeguarding air, water and the earth. Tom and Peggy built their home using optimal location on the land, overlooking stunning Texas vineyards that transport you to Tuscany – and they did it all without removing a single oak or cedar tree from their property.

Both the open and screened-in verandas are a perfect place for starting or ending your day, whether that’s relaxing with a beverage, reading, entertaining, dining or watching the sun set in that famous Texas sky.  

The flow throughout the home, the use of space and the ventilation systems were all designed for efficient heating and cooling. A 30,000-gallon rain harvesting tank that holds the equivalent to 1750 average showers was installed and, within two months, was filled with rain-water in our drought ridden climate.

To this day, it has never dropped below 70% of its capacity in the 3 years it has been in place.  

The Kolnowskis set out to create a safe, sustainable five-star green home, and that’s exactly what they did. To reduce electricity, they installed energy-efficient lighting and appliances. To lower water consumption, they installed water-saving plumbing fixtures.  And, to eliminate the emission of volatile organic compounds, they built their home with non-toxic materials.

The end result is a home that uses very little energy, conserves water and is free of toxic off-gassing. 

In my next post, I’ll go into more detail about the rain harvesting system, solar panels and geothermal features. Stay tuned!

Digitized House Magazine is an online source for homeowners who are interested in smart, sustainable, and zero-energy efficient homes.