By R.J. DeLuke
A local developer is working on a pair of housing
developments–one in Clifton Park and one
in Greenfield– that are aimed at meeting the
requirements of “green” construction, but go even
beyond that in the materials used.
Anthony Vaccarielli owns Schuyler Builders
LLC. His developments are the four-lot Clifton
Preserves in Clifton Park, off Moe Road, and Silva
Trace, which ill consist of eight homes on Route
9N. Three of those homes in phase I of the project
are done, and there will be four homes in phase II.
Vaccarielli has been building homes that conform
to Energy Star and National Association of
Builders green-quality–environmentally friendly-
-standards. But he said these houses will go
further. But these homes go even farther in their
consideration of environmental and health issues.
Much of that comes from a collaboration with Karen Totino who opened Green Conscience Home & Garden in Saratoga Springs in 2009. She started that out of her concern for the environment and the dangers she felt products used in this field contained. Now her company offers things like cork floors, all-wool carpets, and other natural products contractors and do-it-yourselfers can use.
“My company goes beyond health and wellness. We also address sustainability and natural products that are renewable, not petroleum.” When she met Vaccarielli, they had common interests and the collaboration was developed, which she hopes will continue.
“This product will appeal to people and we’ll be able to provide a unique service and a unique product,” said Totino. She is the buyer for Schuyler Builders’ interior finishes and products, including zero-VoC or reduced VoC pains, caulks and more.
Totino said at Silva Trace, she helped come up with specifications and design for the home was also involved in “layout, what kind of insulation and how the building envelope was going to be constructed.”
She noted she is involved “to a lesser extent” at Clifton Preserves. “We want to build a home that is green from the inside out,” she said.
Vaccarielli said the Silva Trace homes are colonials with variations to the design on lots of 2.5 to 3 acres, three bathrooms, four bedrooms and two-car garages, with full basements. In Clifton Park, the homes are “metro modern ranch” in style, with a sleek, modern look.
Emphasis in both developments is on high energy effi ciency and sustainability. Vaccarielli said he has been interested in solar energy systems for many years and observed that, as time goes on, people are using more fuel and petroleum and dealing with climate change.
“It makes sense to find ways to offset that and make things more efficient,” he said. “I like building natural homes. It adds a little bit to the cost, but a lot of people are sensitive to the environment. We want to provide that to select people who are of like mind.”
As for Totino, it isn’t just paints and caulks that can be troublesome to people’s health. Furniture coverings and carpets an also be bad for people without their knowing it. She helps select products that eliminate those risks.
“We’re trying to put a vision out there and concept,” she said. When it comes to “green” construction, she said “I felt like there is a lot of marketing of energy efficiency, which is a key, but it’s leaving out a big piece of the problem. If you’re filling a house with stuff that isn’t healthy, you’re missing something.”
“A lot of women are about these things and that concern wasn’t being met,” she added. “We want to address both energy efficiency and health and wellness.” Notably “improved indoor air quality, especially as we see asthma, allergies and respiratory illnesses on the rise.”
She said they have also developed a good price point and “hit a really good balance with value. you’re getting a home that is comfortable, efficient and healthy at a good price.”
Said Vaccarielli, “We’re building to standards we think building codes will be in another 10 years or so.”
The Green Conscience website is www. green-conscience.com and Totino can be reached at 306-5196. Schulyer Builders can be reached at 221-3952 and its website is www.schuylerbuilders.net.
Photo Courtesy of Schuyler Builders LLC