Saunders, Real Estate, Hamptons

Real Estate Center

Sep 15, 2009 11:03 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hamptons Green Alliance attempts to achieve highest LEED certification

Sep 15, 2009 11:03 AM

As one of the more successful luxury home builders in the Hamptons, Roy Dalene wears a lot of hats: He’s the senior vice president, chief operating officer and co-founder of Bridgehampton-based Telemark Inc. and its affiliated companies; he’s the president and chief executive officer of Hamptons Luxury Home, Inc., the parent company of Telemark; and he is also a founding member of the Hamptons Green Alliance (HGA), a non-profit association of local building and related-service professionals organized to promote green building and maintenance practices.

Over lobster and shrimp salads, Mr. Dalene discussed HGA and the group’s big new project—rebuilding a Southampton home that had been destroyed by a fire into a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified structure—over lunch at Pierre’s in Bridgehampton last week.

Q: How did the Hamptons Green Alliance come about?

A: About two years ago, my brother Frank and I were very involved with working with the towns in creating their energy saving programs legislation. We were part of the Town of East Hampton’s advisory board on Energy Star. Frank and I always had these conversations on “What is green? Is Energy Star truly green?” We were questioning how this legislation would impact our industry, not only in the short term but in the long term. If you legislate it, what about five or 10 years down the road, will the clients be maintaining it or will there be an indoor air quality issue down the line?

And we wanted to slow down the process and get these municipalities to really think out what green really meant. At that time we said, “Why don’t we get a bunch of trades together that are leading this industry and form an alliance and discuss what green is. And that’s what we did when we started the Hamptons Green Alliance. We started talking and we decided at that point what our main interest was, to educate the public about what green really is. We started a website specifically to educate about green products as they pertain to building.

Q: How many members does the Alliance have right now?

A: I think there’s eight or nine.

Q: And this is a non-profit organization?

A: Yes, it is not-for-profit.

Q: What kinds of events have you participated in?

A: We did the Hamptons Home and Garden Show. We had a booth there and we had a good following from that show.

Q: Are you accepting other members?

A: We are, but they must be approved by the Alliance.

Q: The big thing on the horizon now is the Alliance’s connection to the Dubins, whose house burned down right before Christmas last year. What’s the story there?

A: Early last fall the Hamptons Green Alliance decided that we should put our knowledge to the test and that we would go out and look for an architect who had a project and a client interested in doing a green home with new technologies. We knew it would be cutting-edge and we were willing to do it on a cost basis and put in our resources, sort of like a research and development program. At the same time the Dubins’ house caught fire and they had a huge tragedy. After the fire, they have two friends who are local architects here, Rick Stott and Craig Lee, so he [David Dubin] brought the two of them together to collaborate on the rebuilding of this project, so it just turned out that Rick received our inquiry about this project and it all came together.

Q: Were the Dubins interested in doing a Platinum LEED-certified home?

A: He was on board from day one, and they wanted to do this as green as possible. We brought in the LEED Platinum qualifications. We selected LEED because it is the leading qualification in the country when it comes to building green. We’ve never done a LEED home before...

Q: You set the bar very high for your first time out: Platinum is the highest level of LEED certification there is.

A: Yes we did, the whole Green Alliance set the bar very high. At the same time, our goal was to do zero net energy, which means that the energy you use from the grid balances out with what you’re producing, it nets out at zero. The other criteria for us was the carbon neutral, which is a new avenue that really hasn’t been done before. So as far as we know, it’s one of a kind. In the entire country it hasn’t been achieved.

Q: Is this going to be the first Platinum LEED-certified house out here?

A: I think there’s only one other one on Long Island. I don’t think there’s another one out here yet.

Q: When is the house scheduled to be completed?

A: April.

Q: Ground was broken at what point?

A: Ground was broken, I think, the beginning of August.

Q: Are you dealing with any part of the original structure or are you starting from zero?

A: The interesting part of this is, the project is not just a restoration of the existing home; the architects proposed additions to the home. At the same time, they’re dealing with the insurance companies on the remediation from the fire. The insurance companies did not total the whole house so we were faced with a decision of whether to tear it down or not, but the insurance company kind of made that decision since they didn’t total the whole house. We had to look at the fire damage and what areas were affected by fire and smoke damage.

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I was please to learn of this iniative here on Long Island, better late, than never. On cape cod, mass, the Association for the preservation of Cape Cod has been way ahead of us in terms of land use, enviormental issues, and building homes. I have be a 60 year resident of suffolk county, and I am dismayed, that a group of this nature had not been created after the publishing of "Slient Spring" in the early 60's. We are now only learning the carbon footprints, of energy use. The other thing, ...more
By Celtic (7), Amagansett on Sep 24, 09 10:33 AM