HOW GREEN IS MY HOUSE?
By Anne-Marie Smolski
WICKEDLOCAL.COM — The green homebuilding movement has come to Wellesley — and with it, the national spotlight.
Steve Thomas, former host for 14 years of “This Old House,” arrived at 51 Avon Road with a crew on June 5 to film an episode of the brand-new show, “Renovation Nation,” which airs on Planet Green, a Discovery Channel network.
After hearing about the show from the lumber company she was using for new construction at the Avon Road site, Cynthia Curtis sent off a video about her project to the show. Approximately six weeks later, “Renovation Nation” contacted her to let her know they were interested in coming to Wellesley to shoot a segment.
By 7 a.m. on the appointed day, Steve Thomas arrived, along with field producer Rebecca Donahue, a sound grip, cameraman and a production assistant. Scheduled to stay until 5 p.m., they ended up staying until 8.
Soon after the Townsman arrived in the afternoon, Thomas told everyone that soon they would be “jumping into a scene.”
There was no script. “We shoot reality style,” Thomas said.
“The idea of the show,” he said, is to have a lot of fun and meet people all over the country and learn about what it takes to go green, large or small. We cover it all.”
Curtis, who is responsible for global marketing for an IT security software company, is definitely passionate about the green lifestyle. A Linden Street resident who has lived in town for about eight years, she was not looking to build, but did want another house in the vicinity from which she could walk to town.
The home that had previously stood at 51 Avon Road had been torn down. The builder’s original intention, Curtis said, was to build a 4,400-square-foot house on the 11,208-square-foot lot. When she asked if he would be willing to build a smaller house, he declined, but said, “Make me an offer for the lot.”
Once she owned the property, she said, “I found myself in need of an architect.” Curtis and architect Jan Gleysteen of Jan Gleysteen Architects Inc. in Wellesley clicked, and together with builder Michael Lane and solar energy man Tom Wineman, they formed a team.
Curtis said they all have the same objectives — raising awareness and showing that one can design and build a very attractive home that fits in with the neighborhood and it doesn’t have to be 5,000 or more square feet.
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