Going Green In Green Country
When Frank Palmieri and Elizabeth Geer of Tulsa decided to build their dream home, they wanted to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
"We always wanted to something to protect the environment, and we looked at all the various construction methods, and this seemed to be the best that we could do to help the environment," said Frank Palmieri.
With more than two years of planning, Frank has incorporated energy-saving features throughout the house.
"The heating is going to be done with a geo-thermal heat source," said Palmieri.
Plastic water-filled tubes will draw the heating and cooling from the earth two-hundred and fifty feet beneath the house.
"We have a radiant floor heat, we have a circulating liquid in the slab, that will heat the slab and the heat will rise," Frank explained.
What makes this house so different from the traditional stick-frame construction? Its insulated concrete form construction method.
"This block is called Nudura, it's the company that makes it, and it is what the house is made of actually, the exterior walls of the house," said Palmieri.
The blocks are stacked like Lego toys then filled with cement.
"And that gives you very good insulating qualities, the technology is probably somewhere R-40 to R-50 insulating values," said Palmieiri.
This building method raised some eyebrows in their more traditional neighborhood.
"They were interested in it, we had to submit it for review by the architectural committee, and they were interested in seeing how it went up," explained Palmieri. "We put in higher strength concrete than is required, we put very high efficiency windows in the house."
The high-tech German windows provide excellent thermal insulation, and have another great feature.
"The windows open inward to clean them and get really good airflow, but during the spring and fall when you can turn your air conditioner off you can turn your windows like this and open them from the top," said Palmieri.
While the house costs a bit more up front, Frank believes the payback will happen very quickly.
"The pay back is enormous, the payback just on the construction of the house is no more than four or five years," said Palmieri.
Making the Palmieri's house one of the "Greenest" homes in Green Country.
By Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com Video Journalist