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Great “Green” restoration of James Dean House

February 22, 2008

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We’ve recently visited a spectacular historic restoration in Rosemont (near Stockton, Hunterdon County) of an 1860s farmhouse and several barns and outbuildings. Conservation Development founder Lise Thompson describes her “regenerative” approach to development as “’beyond sustainability’,” identifying and enhancing the spirit of the communities and places within and upon which it works.” Thompson used recycled and healthy materials wherever possible and equipped the 19th century James Dean house with many 21st century “green” technologies, including a high-efficiency HVAC system, zero VOC paints, and modern, rigid spray foam insulation. The property is for sale.

Lise will be a speaker at the 2008 NJ Preservation Conference in the session “The Greenest Building is the One Already Built” on June 4 at Rutgers, New Brunswick.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 27, 2008 2:09 pm

    The James Dean House provides two very interesting focal points. The house which is settled in the quiet hamlet of Rosemont, stands at the cross roads of historic preservation and green building technology. This ornate, yet modest Victorian farm house functions as a window to our not far past while maintaining a sense of sustainability. Some of the most striking features since the renovation include reclaimed antique hemlock floorboards, insulated low E windows, zero VOC paints, and a high velocity heating and cooling system. The house makes use of natural lighting and cross breezes which greatly reduces energy cost. Historic buildings such as the James Dean House provide the historian, homeowner, preservationist, and resident with a near perfect medium to go green. The building is already built. For this reason it does not require the use of vinyl building products, carcinogenic materials, additional energy for construction, or suburban sprawl. Historic buildings may be one of the best preexisting templates for green building practices. By preserving our past we can keep alive our heritage while addressing the big green question. Green building and historic preservation are our civic responsibilities.

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