Want to see how ‘green’ looks? A Dot couple says, ‘Come on by’

Jacob Aguiar, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 28, 2014

Cynthia Loesch and Ivan Liriano completed construction on the first LEED (Leadership on Energy and Environmental Design) home in Dorchester in 2011. “After all the rebates and tax breaks, and energy savings, this house costs less to build than what a three-family home is going for in Dorchester” said Loesch.

The couple plans to showcase the advantages of building with green in mind by inviting the public to come by for a look on Sept. 6.

The open house will feature workshops geared toward specific elements of the home, like its high-quality insulation, non-invasive drought resistant garden, and smart technology that lets the occupants control their home from any mobile device. “It is like one big app,” said Liriano.

Loesch and Liriano are active members of the Codman Square Neighbor Council, “which has given us the opportunity to advocate for greener construction in the neighborhood”, said Loesch.  But when they were looking to build their home, they faced a lot of resistance from developers who did not see green building as cost efficient.

“So we thought let’s do it ourselves, let’s build a home that can be an example to the community,” said Loesch.  “Let’s change they way people think about building “ 

Loesch has just finished law school and Liriano is a senior information systems auditor, so when it came to constructing a green and efficient home, “we definitely needed  assistance throughout the way,” said Loesch. “We chose to seek LEED certification because its standards were in line with the goals that we had.”

When someone is seeking certification, a LEED rater is at hand to make sure everyone is on the same page. “The average is r19, and ours is r21, but the rater was there to check that,” said Loesch. “I wouldn’t know the difference between r19 and r21 insulation.” The “r” stands for reflective. 

“We haven’t had to turn the heat on” said Liriano. “And we have no electric bill in the spring and summer, which is pretty cool.” The house’s automation is powered by Vivint. “They are like the Apple of security companies,” said Liriano.

Liriano can lock his doors, access his security cameras, switch on lights, control the temperature in the house, and do much more from any mobile device. Most of the technology in the home recognizes when it is not in use and powers down to save energy. The wall outlets come equipped with USB ports that know when a device is fully charged and so they automatically stop supplying power. 

“We wanted to demonstrate that you can have all the modern comforts and live a sustainable lifestyle,” said Liriano. 

Loesch and Liriano encourage those interested in the open house to visit 81brent.org and register for the workshops, although tours will be given all day drop-ins are welcome. “We want everyone to come” said Loesch. “We want home owners, renters, community activists, people wanting to build, people wanting to renovate, people who can reach the masses, We want everyone there so we can all learn together.”