House of NAAG Attorney Reaches “Green” Heights

NAAG as an association is committed to improving the environment, including hosting its meetings in Green Certified hotels. However, NAAG staff is part of the action too.

NAAG Bankruptcy Counsel Karen Cordry is leading a growing movement of home builders to build green. When building her Delaware house, she wanted to be mindful of the environment and energy use. “I wanted to do it as green as I could,” says Cordry, a longtime member and current treasurer of the D.C. chapter of the Sierra Club. “I didn’t want my beach house to have a negative impact on the environment.”

She is working to have her house certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. LEED is a certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, for environmentally–sound buildings. She hopes to achieve “platinum” status for the house, the highest of four certification levels available through the program. The final result should be known in the next few months. Cordry’s house has a small carbon footprint which means its consumption of carbon-based fuels is much less than traditionally-built homes.

Cordry’s house needs a 90 point rating to meet the requirements for platinum LEED certification. She is close to accumulating those points. The house includes many energy-saving features including low-energy compact fluorescent light bulbs, carpet made of fiber spun from cornstarch, kitchen countertops made of recycled glass chips set in concrete, and power for solar heat and solar hot water generated by 24 solar panels on the roof.

Cordry is doing her part to spread the word about the benefits of building green.

Her efforts to protect the environment and limit energy use when building her house were recognized in the October issue of the Delaware Beach Life magazine. In the future, she plans to compile a booklet about its construction that will be available to the public.

“Building to a small carbon footprint isn’t weird or exotic,” she says. “You don’t have to find an old barn and recycle it. You can be green and get something that is very efficient and that is very livable.” Cordry also notes that she will have informational materials to inform the tenants who rent during the summer about the special features of the house. “I hope they will find some features they can incorporate into their own homes when they leave.”

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