Monthly Archives: May 2010

World’s tallest building

This is a photo from the top of the world’s tallest building in Dubai. Our friend’s Andy & Lisa are on their world tour and shared this with us. Incredible view, seems like you are on a wing of a plane.


David Popoff

Realtor ~ Connecticut License


William Raveis Real Estate

22 Old Kings Highway South

Darien, Ct.  06820


Office:  (203) 655-1423

Cell:      (203) 228-0646

VoiceMail/FAX:  (203) 653-5722


“Living Green ~ building a better future.”


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Dog Parks & Hikes ~ Darien, New Canaan, Rowayton, Ct.

Dog Parks & Hikes ~ Darien, New Canaan, Rowayton, Ct.


Dog Parks & Hikes ~ Darien, New Canaan, Rowayton, Ct.Hiking at Huntington Park, Redding, Ct.

There are a number of places to bring man’s best friend for play time, hikes and swims.

 In Rowayton there is the dog park that is behind the Rowayton Library, plenty of parking in at the lower lot. The park is fenced in on three sides with a stone wall on the forth side. For current news visit the Rowayton Dog Park Facebook page.

In New Canaan there is Spencer’s Run at  Waveny Park that has a fenced in dog area where off leash is allowed.  The dog park is 1.5 acres and is open from dawn to dusk. The rest of the 250 acre park has walking/jogging trails but dogs need to be on leash.

In Darien there is Woodland Nature Preserve, a 64 acre area with trails for walking, dogs are welcomed on leash. Also in Darien is Cherry Lawn Park, 27 acres, and home to the Darien Nature Center. Cherry Lawn has a playground, community garden, tennis & basketball courts, walking trails and maintained sport fields.Cherry Lawn, Darien, Ct.

There are a number of nearby land trusts, parks, preserves for hiking with your dog nearby Darien, New Canaan & Rowayton, Ct. Remember to always bring a leash and poop bags, all these wonderful spots are open to the public with a carry in-carry out policy, keep it clean.

In Norwalk, Ct. there is Cranbury Park, 190 acres of woods and fields with trails and Taylor Farm. Taylor Farm is located at Beach Road, across the street from Calf Pasture Beach.

In Westport there is Winslow Park, Located on Rt 1. A special area is allocated for off lease dogs but no fence. Also in off season at Compo beach dogs are allowed in a designated area.

In Fairfield, Ct. there is Lake Mohegan, 118 acres, hiking trails and swimming. Also during the winter months dogs are allowed on Fairfield Beach.

In Stamford & Greenwich, Ct. there is Mianus River, 750 acres, Swimming in river but please be aware of the fisWinter at Trout Brook Valley, Weston, Ct.hermen, hikes and trails.

In Weston & Easton, Ct. there is Trout Brook Land Trust is another great hiking area.

In Redding, Ct. there is Collis P. Huntington State Park, 883 acre state park that has hiking trails, five ponds fields and dense woodlands.

At Cross River, junction of Route 35 & 121 there is Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, 4,315 acres, 35 miles of hiking trails, $8 day fee.Compo Beach, Westport, Ct.

Compo beach and Fairfield Beach allow dogs during off season in marked areas.

Devil’s Den, 1,756 acres with 20 miles of trials in Weston, Ct. Sorry NO dogs allowed but great hikes.

Photo’s published with permission by red-dog Cali Vizsla.

****Please feel free to add any more parks and hikes to the comment list down below and to share this article, Thank You.  You can reach me at


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Mortgage Rates Decline – WSJ, May 24, 2010

MORTGAGE RATES DECLINE, WSJ May 24, 2010 ~ Real Estate, Darien, New Canaan, Rowayton, Ct.

Front page of the Wall Street Journal today, May 5, 2010 “Mortgage Rates Decline”.  The article states that international money seeking a safe haven entering the US and pushing down domestic mortgage rates to the lowest levels of the year and back near 50 year lows…..clink on WSJ link below for whole article.

William Raveis Real Estate  Real Estate & Home Services is a full-service mortgage banker offering most types of mortgage products.  Go to William Raveis Mortgage link for more information.

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IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, EPA Indoor airPLUS & LEED.EPA's AirPLUS

REAL ESTATE DARIEN, NEW CANAAN, ROWAYTON,CT.                                                               

  May 20th, 2010  

Real Estate, Darien, New Canaan, Rowayton, Ct.

Norwalk Maritime Center, Ct.

           Norwalk Aquarium Center and CTGBC sponsored a seminar on Indoor Air Quality, IAQ for residential homes. Experts explain the realities of home indoor air quality and how to improve and protect the air you breathe at home.

           Speakers include: Dr. Marybeth Smuts, air toxicologist, US EPA; Dr. Gary Ginsberg, toxicologist, Connecticut Department of Public Health; and Foster Lyons, local building science expert and co-owner of Coastal Point Construction, Conn.

         The average person is indoors 80% to 90% of the time. 20% of families have an asthmatic in the home.  Home buyers surveyed for green build rated the following items as important: – Health 42%, Energy Savings 17%, and Environment 12% in the decision of buying a home.  The EPA’s program ‘Indoor AirPLUS’ is for new home construction that is the next tier to the EPA’s program of ‘Energy STAR’.  Many of the requirements though should be used in every home. Test for Radon gas, Test Well Water, Carbon Monoxide and Smoke alarms, Low VOC’s paints, Moisture control, proper storage of poisons and cleaning materials.

        Major contributors to bad IAQ are Mold, Building Materials, Consumer Products, and Exterior Environment.  A general rule of thumb is that if there is a strong order, then it is most likely off-gassing chemicals. Such examples are ‘new car smell’, paint smell, new carpet smell. If these projects are done it is recommended that you first use safe materials such as low VOC’s paints, Green Label Carpets, No formaldehyde kitchen cabinets and secondly do the work in the warmer months when you can open doors and windows to allow the circulations of fresh air. Off gassing can take days to months depending on the materials.

 Another source of bad IAQ contributors are consumer products:-


Don’t use Pesticides sprays carry in house, Do use bait traps.

 Don’t use cleaning materials ammonia & chlorine, Do use natural cleaners, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, enzymes, citrus oils.

Don’t use any aerosol can they contains petroleum distillates, Do use pump bottles and liquids.

Don’t use spray furniture polish they contains hydrocarbons, Do use natural oil base products.

Don’t use acid base drain cleaners, do use snake-it to clear drains.

CFL lights contain mercury, use where they cannont be broken, use LED’s lights (Light Emitting Diode).                          

Paints & varnishes, Arts & Crafts…glues, matting, rubber cement use outside. Do use low VOC’s products & lots of ventilation.

Don’t use Mothballs, do use natural cedar chips/wood.

     Exterior Environment also contributes to bad IAQ such as radon gas, poor water quality and the stack effect.  The stack effect is created in your home when a vacuumed is created and not enough fresh air enters the home. Up to 30% of the makeup air can be sucked up through your attached garage, basement, crawlspace and cracks in the foundation.  In the ground you could have Radon gas or another possibility is that pesticides, dry cleaning chemicals, gas station pollutants, landfills leach into the groundwater and travel where vapors can get into your home from underground.

The solution for such problem is:-

1. Source Control, sealing building, materials used radon remediation.

2. Ventilation, ERV- Energy Recovery Ventilator, demand control ventilation and dehuminfining units. 

3. Filtrations, installing MERV 8 filters on ductwork.


For further information please refer to the following websites:-

Dr. Ginsberg website                                   

EPA’s Indoor AirPlus program                

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

David Popoff

Licensed Connecticut Realtor                                                                                                    Licensed Connecticut Home Improvement Contractor                                                                    Member USGBC & CTGBC, accredited LEED GA


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Rowayton Dog Park & Community Center ~ Being Green Planting Trees.

Rowayton Dog Park & Community Center ~ Being Green Planting Trees.

Removal of old & wind damage trees, soon to be planting of new trees. The new trees will be a selection of high quality long lasting species such as White Dogwoods, Sugar Maples and Red Oaks.  Part of a long term master landscaping plan, these trees should mature in 75 to 100 years.

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Starting at William Raveis Real Estate

Yup, its official, I’ll be at William Raveis Real Estate, Darien, Ct. starting this week.    🙂

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I was lucky enough to be able to go on the home tour organized by PACE-Clean Energy over the weekend of the Kantor Home in New Canaan, Ct. which is seeking the USGBC LEED for Homes rating of Platinum.  Until the permeable driveway and all the plantings/landscaping is done the certification is on hold, but they have already been awarded the Emerald Certification from the National Green Build Standard with a score of over 800 points.

The craftsman-style house is over 4,000 square feet situated on almost 5 acres was built by BPC Green Builders.  The siding of the house is FSC certified white knotty cedar shingles and the roof tiles that look like slate are made out of recycled rubber and plastic with a 50 year warranty. 

Solar PV panels at KANTOR PLATINUM LEED HOME, NEW CANAAN, CT.During the Innovation & Design Process, ID, the architect Jim Edgcomb designed the house, windows and extra large overhangs to maximize the effectiveness of passive and active solar power. The solar thermal panels on the roof convert sunlight to heat that is stored in a 1,000 gallon tank down in the basement. The hot water in the tank is used to heat the house, domestic hot water and outdoor pool. Along with that are 48 Photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight to electricity that was installed by Alteris Renewable.  The system generates more electricity than the house uses and is returned the power grid for other homes to use. 

Bio-swale, Kantor LEED home, New Canaan, Ct

Storm water is managed with a combination of bio-swale runs with any overruns going to the 1,800 sq ft specifically designed rain garden. The rain garden is made up of a soil mix of sand, compost, top soil and mix of native plants that are tolerate both saturated and dry conditions. Rainwater from the roof is diverted to four 80 gallon barrels and two 1250 gallon underground cisterns. This water is used for the irrigation system that utilizes both drip and micro-spray distribution with the use of solar powered pumps. Landscaping was done by Plantscapes Organics.

The swimming pool is insulated underneath and has an automatic cover to minimize heat loss so that solar energy can provide 100% of the heat needed to warm the water. The pool’s water is chemically free and will be sanitized using a copper ionization system installed by JJ Pools.

Now we get to the inside of the house, excellent craftsmanship and high quality workmanship throughout, wonderful views through triple glazed windows this house is as pleasing to the eye as it is efficient. Reclaimed red and white oak floors, interior designed structural post and beam eastern hemlock and locally grown with exterior walls being framed with 2*6, 24 inch on center with cross framing of 2*3 for a thermal break, allowing for a total open cell foam insulation thickness of  seven inches at a R value of 31. The roof is framed with 2*12’s at 24 inch on center with additional 2*3 horizontal strapping which again eliminates most thermal breaks and insulation of 13 inches spray foam for an R-58 rating.

The kitchen cabinets are made out of reclaimed wood, countertops are locally made from 100% recycled glass in a cement matrix, under cabinet lighting are highly energy efficient LED’s, all kitchen appliances are Energy Star rated by the EPA.

The first floor wall finish is a natural plaster made from various clays, sand and reclaimed marble. On the second floor the walls are finished with water-based low VOC’s interior paint. In the center staircase ceiling there are two 14 inch round solar reflective tube shafts that bring in an exceptional amount of natural light into this windowless space.1,000 gallon water storage tank, Kantor LEED home

Now we get to the heart of the home, mechanical room. Along with the 1,000 gallon water tank for hot water storage there is a new European model wood pellet boiler that functions completely automatically with an efficiency factor greater than 90%. There is also a back up state of the art propane condensing boiler with an efficiency of 95%.

With the house being built so well and tight, an energy recovery ventilator – ERV is installed. This unit brings in a measured amount of fresh air into the house automatically transferring the heat and moisture from the exhaust air to the fresh air for exceptionally energy efficiency.

Kantor LEED Home, Compost Toilet Tank

And here are two items that you don’t usually find in the home. The composting toilet in the house has a holding tank in the basement that has its own ecosystem and live bacteria which breaks down the waste into humus. Within a year rich compost is ready to use. The second surprise is the grey water system that filters shower and sink drain water through peat moss. The filtered water is used in the toilets and is the first such system to be installed in Connecticut.

So in conclusion, for a small premium in price and a little planning one can build an energy efficient home and save substantially on their utility bills. It was whispered in my ear that this high end home costs about $400 sq foot to build.

David Popoff

William Raveis Real Estate

Darien, Ct. 06820

Connecticut License Real Estate Salesperson

Member of USGBC & CTGBC, accredited LEED GA



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