House & Home

Go Condo Green at Shinnecock Canal

Over the past decade “going green” has become the “it” thing to do – from recycling and bringing reusable bags to the grocery store to buying a hybrid car and putting solar panels on the roof. Now it’s not just about finding small ways to make your house more energy efficient with light bulbs or appliances, it’s about having a “green” house, period. That is what Lee Passavia of The Domus Group is trying to accomplish.

A graduate of Yale University, where he studied art and architecture, Passavia found a “spectacular” location overlooking the Shinnecock Canal to build his green townhouses. He discovered this hidden gem of a locale when he was told that it had become something of an eyesore to the neighbors. On top of this hill were several old, broken-down summer cottages, that used to be a hotspots for parties, but were unfortunately abandoned and left in disrepair. So Passavia decided to turn a negative into a positive by taking his green initiative to the Hamptons. [expand]

Passavia thought that this location was perfect because of its view overlooking Shinnecock Bay and its direct access to the ocean. It’s a natural hub for the Hamptons, with easy access to Southampton Village and the ocean beaches. Plus it’s not too far away from Manhattan.

His goal was to bring high-end townhomes, which are “tastefully done,” to an area with multi-million- dollar homes at a much more affordable price point. The townhomes are now called Canoe Place Landing.

The Domus Group itself is strictly focused on building energy efficient homes and they pride themselves on staying at the forefront of the green building movement. It has taken time for green development to catch on in the general marketplace, but those who currently use such technologies are very satisfied. The biggest obstacle in selling green systems has been that they cost more than older technologies up front. With the economy the way it is, people are less inclined to put down more money at the start. But green systems save consumers a great deal of money over time and so are being recognized as a great investment.

Compared to a home built to the state code minimums, the Domus’ design will reduce heating and cooling energy use by about 40%. Among the advanced technologies used in the homes are high-density spray foam insulation, a heat recovery ventilator that captures heat from outgoing stale air and ensures the home receives ample fresh air, rigid exterior insulation to reduce thermal bridging and  special attention paid to air-sealing walls, ceilings and ductwork. Anyone who is invested in reducing their carbon footprint should definitely look into this type of housing.

The good news is that this is already catching on in the Hamptons. The solar thinking and Energy Star requirements in Hamptons villages is forcing people to be more environmentally aware. The group thinks that once people see this cutting-edge development, they will become more interested and the competition will have to keep up. The company is in the process of becoming part of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Energy Star certified in order to show that these townhouses are livable and efficient.

The Domus Group has certainly developed some prime, green real estate in the Hamptons.


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