South Boston,, Virginia — Green Home For Sale
This award-winning 2,080 square-foot eco-house was built with the health of the planet and the health of its owners in mind, using natural materials and recycled products wherever possible, including low VOC paint and polyurethane throughout.
Listing ID: 19992
- Energy Efficient Home
- EnergyStar Home
- Green Home
- Healthy Home
- Solar - Photovoltaic
|Asking Price (USD)||$550,000|
|Annual Property Tax||$1,477|
|Annual Utility Cost||$840|
|Home Area||2,080 sq ft|
|Total Property Area||58 acres|
Turning onto Fox Trail, a country road barely wide enough for two cars, one would never dream that this tranquil, rural setting is just ten minutes from a busy commercial area. In addition, there is no evidence at all that these fifty-eight acres are even occupied. But then, up ahead, at the side of the road, the mailbox comes into view.
Just past the mailbox is a private lane that winds through deep woods as well as open fields. All is quiet. All is green. Or red and gold. Or white with snow. Or bursting with buds. And depending on the season, deer, wild turkeys, the occasional fox and all kinds of other critters are going about their business.
As you follow the road, the house comes into view. "Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird; it's a plane!” It’s ….!” Well, it’s not Superman, but the twin peaks of the butterfly roof do make it seem as if the house is about to take off. Or has it just landed? In either case, despite its modern and startling appearance, the house and its surroundings complement each other beautifully.
In fact, in 2010, while still under construction, the house won Honorable Mention as the Best Green Residential Project in the Virginia Sustainable Building Network’s annual Green Innovation Award competition. Sited to maximize southern exposures and optimize the amount of sun hitting the rooftop solar panels, this 2,080 square-foot home (plus an additional 776 square feet of outdoor deck space) was completed in 2011. Like a supermodel who does not need to be dressed up but always looks good regardless, the basic structure of the house, including the beamed wooden ceilings, speaks for itself.
A serpentine stone walkway leads to the patio and the front door, but before we go inside, let’s take a quick survey of the area immediately surrounding the house. The landscaping includes a lawn area on three sides and a wild meadow in back that gently slopes down to a spring-fed pond. Among the trees and shrubbery are crape myrtles, a ginkgo tree, numerous rose bushes, hydrangeas, butterfly bushes, black-eyed Susans and Echinacea. An underground watering system provides irrigation for these plants in particular. The area also boasts several fruit trees, blueberry bushes and a grape-covered arbor.
Also on the grounds are a storage shed, a well house that encloses the water treatment system, and attached to the house itself, an outdoor shower. Buried underground, enclosing the lawn area, is an electric fence.
Beyond the lawn area are almost sixty acres to explore. Hike alongside the stream or picnic in one of the fields. Your peace and quiet and privacy are assured.
The house itself is finished in stucco. All exterior (and most interior) corners are rounded, giving the house a soft, Southwestern, adobe-like look and feel. There is a deck off the kitchen on the lower level and two decks upstairs. The front upper deck overlooks the front lawn, a large open field and woods. The back deck overlooks the pond.
One enters the house through a sliding glass door into a foyer that is almost all windows. Two windows just shy of six feet high grace both sides of the room, and another sliding glass door leads into the living room-dining room. There are even windows above each of the doors. The foyer and the adjacent patio are especially inviting in summer, shielded from the summer sun from mid-morning on.
Windows are a major feature of the house and allow for unobstructed views in all directions, from one end of the house to the other. If you love to watch the sun rise and set, this is the ideal house. Its open plan and extensive window system bring the outside in not only visually but literally as well, providing cross ventilation everywhere.
The living room-dining room, the only truly interior room in the house, boasts two skylights. Light also enters this space from the floor above, through the opening above the staircase that allows light to enter the lower level from the upper windows on the second floor.
Straight ahead, behind the living-dining area, is a screened porch, considered an outdoor space but available at least three if not all four seasons of the year. Especially appealing in fall and winter, this room is the perfect place in which to watch the sun set and the seasons change. It should be noted that the screen porch is its own heating zone, as is the foyer, and each of these spaces can be closed off during its “off” season. Every room in the house also has a ceiling fan.
Just off the living-dining area are a half-bath and the entrance to the master bedroom suite. The bedroom has windows on opposite sides of the room, and the bathroom boasts two windows in the toilet area and another two windows in the shower / bathtub area. Enjoy a relaxing soak with Mother Nature literally at your feet! This master suite is also its own separate heat zone.
Going in the opposite direction from the living-dining area leads to the kitchen. Enjoy your morning coffee at the small corner counter just big enough for one that overlooks the pond. You might see ducks or herons while your caffeine is kicking in. Up before dawn? The single fixture suspended above the counter creates a private pool of light for you and your book. A perfect place to start the day.
The kitchen has windows on three sides and also includes a washer and dryer and an induction cook-top.
The floors on the first level are stained concrete. They are naturally cool in summer and radiant floor heating keeps them toasty in winter.
Upstairs are two bedrooms, a full bath, a linen closet and the mechanical room, home to the water heater and the radiant floor heating controls. The floors upstairs are cork. The owners have retained all the operating manuals that came with everything, including all appliances, the water heater, the skylights, the ceiling fans and the heating / air conditioning units. On those sunless days, the water is heated by liquid propane. Moreover, wherever possible, all materials used are healthy and eco-friendly. For example, all glues, paint and polyurethane are low-VOC and the treads on the stairs are pure wool.
One bedroom is currently an artist’s studio and the other a library, study and chapel. Both are filled with natural light not only because of all the windows at “normal” height but also because of the additional windows under the butterfly roof system. Each of these rooms has an in-the-wall, ductless air conditioner. Together, these units cool the lower level as well, and affixed to the southern and western-facing windows is a film that deflects light and reduces heat penetration. These wall units are also heaters and provide a boost for those extra cold days.
Whether you are a young family looking for a three-bedroom country estate or retirees looking for a space surrounded by nature in which to pursue a creative art, this house will suit your needs.
What makes your home a Green or Healthy Home?
Completed in 2011, this award-winning home includes all the earmarks of green living such as passive solar hot water, radiant floor heating, ductless air conditioning, low VOC paints and glues, pure wool stair treads, and natural cork flooring. All appliances are energy star. In addition, the house is sited to maximize southern exposures and optimize the amount of sun hitting the rooftop solar panels.
The neighborhood is rural; the zoning is agricultural. Some residents keep cattle, horses, goats, bees or chickens; others grow tobacco, trees and assorted vegetables. There are many large parcels of land as well as areas where neighbors are closer together.
The nearest shops are about five or six miles away and include gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants and other retail stores, libraries and a community hospital. A few miles to the north is the town of Halifax and a few miles to the south is the town of South Boston.
The public school district includes Sinai Elementary School, Halifax County Middle School and Halifax County High School. There are also church-affiliated private schools.
The community is largely rural and offers a friendly, small-town way of life. We are situated approximately an hour from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Research Triangle of North Carolina, 2 hours from historic Richmond, Virginia, and halfway between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic coast, each an easy few hours drive away.
Home Type or Land
Single Family - Two Story
Location of Home or Land
Elevation of Home
|Agriculture in Area||Yes|
|Industry in Area||No|
|Air Pollution in Area||No|
|Cleaned with Green Products||Yes|
Hydronic Floor Heat (radiant)
Solar - Active
Solar - Passive
Part of Cooling System
Part of Heating System
|Whole House Filtration||
|Whole House Vacuum||No|
Home Energy Ratings
|Home Energy Rating System (HERS)||40|
|Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)||
Type: Heat Pump System
Energy & Water
Solar - Photovoltaic
Wood Timber Frame
Wood - Plywood
Wood - Solid
Vinyl or Vinyl Clad
Garage / Car Port
|Garage / Carport||No|