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Begley Builds His 'Net Zero' House from the Ground Up in Studio City

The environmentalist faces his biggest challenge with the new house he's creating.

Actor and environmentalist is facing one of his biggest challenges ever—building a house from the ground up that will have no environmental impact, require no outside energy sources from public utilities and be completely green.

Begley already proved he could take a 1936 inefficient energy house and turn it into a very green home in Studio City. A lot of those challenges (positive and negative) were chronicled in his series at his present house.

Now, not far away near the Los Angeles River, has an existing house on the lot, and he wants to take it dow and then start from the bottom up and make it a "net zero" house that is also LEED-platinum (see the links below and the video).

"I've shown how most people can make their house efficient in an existing structure, and now I want to show how it can be done from the beginning," said Ed.

All but 4 percent of the present house will be recycled. The doors and windows have been taken out and put on other homes in the area. Habitat for Humanity has taken the stove, utilities, hot water heater, copper pipes and 2-by-4s in the walls to move to build other houses, and some of the bricks are going to repair a church in Mexico.

Even the gypsum in the drywall of the walls is going to be ground up to use for gardens and the paper recycled.

"There is four percent of the house that cannot be recycled or re-used," Begley said. But, if there's a way to do it, he's going to figure out how to make every part of it somehow usable and not contribute to local landfills.

Here are some links from the companies helping him to tear down and recycle his house, and some other helpful links.

* IRS Environmental (http://www.irsenviro.com)

* Habitat for Humanity (http://www.habitat.org)

* How to Build a  Net-Zero House

10 steps toward making your home 'net zero' | SmartPlanet

Energy Efficient Home: Save $3670 By Making Your Home Energy Efficient

(Check out the video above for some of his personal observations.)

Rose Sevilla August 07, 2011 at 06:00 PM
That's pretty awesome. Perhaps he can coach the many developers in the Valley and start a great building trend! I know I'd purchase a green home.

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