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Greening up the neighborhood--residence to get highest LEED rating

Developer's home in Cambridge, Mass. goes on the market in line with local prices.

A Cambridge, Mass. home is expected to get the highest rating from the Green Building Council at what appears to be market prices.

The two-unit building, which I took pictures of while it was being built, has got many of the green features you could think of: bamboo flooring, air-tight insulation, and a combined solar electric and hot water roof.

The developer and designers of the house--Sustainable Living and PowerHouse Enterprises--said on Friday that they expect the house to get Platinum certification, joining only about a dozen other residences with that rating.

And the price for this two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse in a desirable neighborhood? It's listing for $869,000, which appears to be in line with local prices.

Typically, green homes are custom-built for very wealthy people with a team of architects.

Getting the price to market prices is the driving idea behind PowerHouse Enterprise, according to company executives. To keep costs down, the designers use off-the-shelf components and assemble the home at the factory. It is delivered by truck and put into place by a crane.

Utility bills for the house should be 70 percent lower. Savings from space heating should be about $2,000 a year, according to PowerHouse.

For a look at PowerHouse Enterprises' PowerPod, a small modular home, see these photos and a video.