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Green Labron House
Redefines Envirochic
Green and modern rarely have married so well as they do in the Shorecrest
house of Robert Diago and Greg Hawthorne. This tony  neighborhood lies east
of Love Field Airport and is full of charmers, but not so many contemporary and
even fewer green homes.
So when the couple bought the 1950s ranch in 2003, their vision  was broad:
take it down to the studs to create something beautifully contemporary that
minimizes the space used, maximizes the light, and accommodates their
lifestyle. All this while meeting the highest environmental standards.
“It really was an obvious next
step for us—we really take into
account our carbon footprint
and we couldn’t imagine not
having done it,” said Diago.
“If you get an opportunity to
start from scratch, it makes
sense.” So start from scratch
they did in 2007, deciding
on plans with architect
Kelly Mitchell of Mitchell
| Garman Design Collaborative
and designer Garry Walling.
One of their first concerns
was for the neighbors.

“When we decided what we
wanted, we gave all our
neighbors a flyer with the
illustration because we didn’t
want anyone to worry about
us building a big white box,
which is what so many people
think of when they hear
‘contemporary,’” Diago said
“We used chocolate brown brick,
cedar, all these earthy elements
to do a contemporary house and
we felt it would be a great fit in
the Shorecrest neighborhood.” fit
in the Shorecrest neighborhood.”
Eighteen months later, the
result is a stunner, an extreme
green makeover that fits in the
neighborhood,  but stands out for
its sheer beauty and elegant
modernity. The couple kept
the original 1,440 square foot
foundation as the footprint and
built a two-story  house. They
moved the kitchen, entertaining,
yoga studio, and home office
upstairs and put the master suite,
guest suite, and laundry room
downstairs.  The new garage in
the backyard became a two-
story structure with the top
floor being an artstudio. And it’s
so green, it’s LEED certified,
which is an  internationally
recognized green building
certification system.
“You can pretty much point to anything in and around the house and
it has a green component,” Diago said. “We have the bamboo flooring
throughout the house; we have recycled surfaces like the Silestone recycled
material for our kitchen and bathroom counters; the stair treads
are a material called EnviroGlas and ours is made out of porcelain toilet
tanks and beer bottles.”

Other green aspects of the house include cabinet fronts made from
reconstituted wood veneer on boards with no urea-formaldehyde resin
and two 2,500-gallon rainwater tanks in the backyard that provide for the
landscaping (and will soon be used for laundry water as soon as city of Dallas
ordinance provisions  come through in mid November.
But one of the greenest aspects of the house is the least acknowledged:
its size. At just 3,400 square feet, it uses significantly less energy than some
of the luxe houses around Dallas that sprawl over 5,000 or 10,000 square feet,
but still offers many luxe amenities.

The home is so notable in its design that it was selected by the Dallas Chapter of
the American Institute of Architecture to be one of eight homes on the 2009 Dallas
Tour of Homes
So its got its accolades, its own website (greenlabron.com), and hoards of admirers.
But at the end of the day, it’s home to Diago and Hawthorne. Any favorite
parts? “There are too many things to pick a favorite, but we love entertaining
upstairs where you’re up in the trees with windows surrounding you on three sides,”
Greg Hawthorne said, “We love this house.”

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