Sustainability Awards honor residents leading the way in green home design
Posted on 04/22/2024

City recognizes residents leading the way in green home design with first-ever Sustainability Awards

Published April 22, 2024

Learn how four Piedmont families are leading the way in sustainable living at this Wednesday’s Design & Sustainability Awards Gala.

Piedmont’s first-ever Sustainability Award honorees have taken green home design to an exceptional level – from achieving the city’s only LEED platinum certification for a single family home to nurturing a certified Monarch Waystation and National Wildlife Federation wildlife habitat in their yard.

Design & Sustainability Awards Gala
Wednesday, April 24, 5:30pm
Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Avenue

The Sustainability Awards add a new dimension to the Planning Commission’s annual Design Awards program, which recognizes home renovation projects that reflect the highest level of design excellence among all the Commission has reviewed. The introduction of new award categories showcasing green improvements is part of the City’s ongoing commitment to helping community members incorporate more sustainable choices into their homes and daily lives.

The 2024 Sustainability Award honorees are:

  • Sustainable Design Champions: Shannon and Rob Bloemker
    As owners of the only LEED-certified home in Piedmont, the Bloemkers have been modeling the possibilities of green living for over a decade with all-electric appliances, a greywater system, 10,000 gallon rainwater collection tanks, and a driveway made of permeable grasscrete pavement, which allows stormwater to percolate into the soil below. Early adopters of rooftop solar, they upgraded in 2022 to a new 17 kW photovoltaic system with support from the Federal solar tax credit.Case study

  • Water Conservation Champions: Hope and Larry Salzer
    The Salzers took advantage of EBMUD rebates to replace their lawn and install drip irrigation for their California native-dominant garden, which boasts over 175 species of drought-tolerant, wildlife-friendly plants and is partially watered by a greywater system. Water-efficient appliances including dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets and a high-efficiency front-load washer complete the water-friendly picture. Case study

  • Building Electrification Champions: Cass Caulfield and Andy Hempeck
    Caulfield and Hempeck have electrified their 1936 home on Blair Avenue with a 26-panel 10.4 kW solar photovoltaic system, heat pump water heater, and ducted mini split heat pump system, saving hundreds per month on PG&E bills. At peak, their solar system generates 7.6 kW/hour, which allows them to fully power their home while exporting energy back to the grid. Case study

  • Building Electrification Champions: Russell and Amy Griffith
    The Griffiths’ home electrification journey began in 2017 with a solar photovoltaic system. From there, they’ve gone fully electric – their home now includes a Level 2 EV charger, HVAC heat pump, heat pump water heater, and induction cooktop. Case study

If you’ve been considering upgrading to a heat pump, adding solar panels, and or installing a greywater system into your home, Wednesday’s gala offers a unique opportunity to hear directly from neighbors who have done it all about lessons learned, the contractors they choose, and incentive programs that supported their projects.

For those who are unable to attend, case studies prepared by the Sustainability Division (linked above) provide an overview of green elements in each home with information on contractors and project cost estimates.

For questions about the Sustainability Awards program, please contact Sustainability Program Manager Deniz Ergun at [email protected].