Green building tour opens homes, businesses to the public

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FALMOUTH — Homes and businesses throughout the region will be open for anyone to stroll through on Saturday, Oct. 1, all in the name of green energy.

“This isn’t a house-beautiful tour, this is about energy,” said Falmouth resident Claudia King, who is also chairwoman of the town’s recycling and energy committee.

King’s home, on Woodville Road, will be open during the tour. She recently retrofitted the building with solar panels, a wood stove, an air service heat pump that extracts heat from the air outside and brings only that air inside, and insulation.

She said she is hoping her home will become a net-zero energy house.

“We really paid attention to the building envelop, the insulation, windows and doors,” King said.

In addition to King’s house, the Gorham Savings Bank on Route 1, the new Falmouth Elementary School on Woodville Road and another Falmouth residence will be open to the public.

Buildings in Freeport, Portland and Scarborough are also on the list, which can be found at nesea.org/greenbuildings. Anyone with a home or business that they’d like to add to the tour can do that on the website, too.

“You can go on the website and create your own tour,” King said. “It’s open to people from anywhere, there’s no admission.”

Most locations are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but King suggested checking the website to be sure before heading out.

The event is organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association to encourage people and businesses to explore and consider green energy options.

Last year more than 10,000 visitors toured nearly 500 locations around New England.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @emilyparkhurst.

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