WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- They say it's not easy being green, but a home in Wilmington is proving that untrue. The Talon Court home is open to the public and is encouraging the community to take after its example in sustainable living. To many people the home might just look like a regular house, but in reality it's anything but. In fact, it might just be the greenest house in America.
"This project turned out better than I thought it would," project architect Jay DeChesere, who lives in the house, said, "and that's hard to say for architects."
What started as ideas on DeChesere's computer screen have now become reality. A refurbished home built by the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance is showcasing the latest green building technologies is finished here in Wilmington, and it's drawing attention from the public.
"People are sort of shocked," DeChesere said. "You know, they're used to walking into a house with the traditional wallpaper and crown mold, and this is something totally different."
Before stepping inside, the front yard has essentially eliminated all runoff. A concrete driveway was replaced with a pervious pavement that sucks up rainwater. The carport features a green roof, where gravel and plants reduce runoff even more. Rainwater is collected and stored, then recycled to use for sprinklers and even a bathroom.
"We flush toilets with rainwater, and that wasn't even allowed in the state until early 2010," DeChesere said.
When it comes to power, 14 solar panels generate enough electricity that DeChesere's power bill is reversed: the power company pays him.
"As soon as the sun comes up I'm producing energy that I'm selling back to the grid and making money instead of spending money," DeChesere said.
Inside, there's no piece that isn't environmentally friendly. From counter-tops made of recycled sunflower husks to doors made of recycled wood and walls made of plant materials, nothing was left to chance, and its winning awards. The first home of its kind in the state might be the top winner in the country according to a rating system by the US Green Building Council.
Not only is this house a home for DeChesere, it's also home to green building ideas for the entire community to look toward. The home is expected to be the first certified platinum home on the East Coast outside of Florida and Virginia.