A green dream
A homeowner realizes his lifelong ambition of sustainable living through his custom-built home.
Builder Ted Larkin, landscape designer Pat Coen, designer Katie Fox and homeowner Ed Darby, seated, collaborated to bring Darby’s dream of a sustainable home to life.
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Building a sustainable home had been Ed Darby’s dream for years.
He’s lived the life of a businessman in the oil and gas industry as CEO of Darby Equipment, a manufacturer of pipe bending equipment, but he has always wanted a home that helps protect natural resources rather than depleting them.
For years Darby lived in the country, not far from San Francisco, in a home that relied on spring water, a wood-burning stove for heat, a small generator that charged two batteries for electricity and propane for the stove and refrigerator.
“I knew some of these same principles could be applied on a larger modern home, but most importantly it is the right thing to do for our environment,” he says. “We really need to take a close look at protecting our precious resources.”
Darby returned to his hometown of Tulsa 24 years ago and lived in a 760-square-foot condominium for several years. But the desire to build his “green” dream home remained in the back of his mind.
His ideal location was only three doors down from his boyhood home, on a corner lot facing the Lakewood Pond in midtown Tulsa. He eyed the lot for 10 years before the opportunity to purchase it finally arose.
Darby bought the existing home on the land as well and proceeded to utilize, donate and sell everything inside the structure, as well as the materials that made up the house.
He decided to work with architect and builder Ted Larkin of The Larkin Co., who would mold Darby’s dream of a sustainable building project, along with the building aesthetics and style he wanted in a custom-built home.
Larkin and Darby processed three redesigns before settling on a Tuscan-inspired look for the home. They also determined the number of building specifications that would be implemented to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the home. LEED certification is managed through the U.S. Green Building Council and is a strenuous and tedious undertaking for all involved parties.
Besides Larkin meeting the strict building requirements, Darby enlisted landscape designer Pat Coen of Bona Fide Landscaping and designer Katie Fox of Katie Fox Design to help him reach other critical LEED specifications and contribute to the home’s overall style and appearance.
Inside, Tuscany blends with a primitive aesthetic throughout the home’s interior. Plenty of natural light shines through the Italian-inspired arched windows and doors found in every room.