Special Reports

Exclusive tour of Ryan Madson's 'green' home

Friday, October 29, 2010

Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson and his wife Sarah are in the process of building their dream home, but this is no ordinary mansion.

From the basement to the ceiling, it is all going to be eco-friendly and they gave Action News the exclusive tour of the construction.

"It's going to be very comfortable, very warm and very cool in the summer without a lot of energy being used," Ryan said.

Ryan and his wife Sarah don't necessarily classify themselves as tree huggers or even environmentalists.

For them, the dream to go green actually came from watching others do it on TV.

"We thought it was really cool that people were actually taking their part in helping the earth and lowering our consumption levels," Ryan said.

"We thought why not, why not go sort of against the norm and do something that could possibly turn out really good for the environment and give us an awesome house," Sarah said.

An awesome house- from the inside out!

The multi-million dollar home will be filled entirely with all things sustainable.

Instead of your traditional fiber glass insulation, a soy-bean based spray foam will be used.

"I think one of the coolest things is the spray foam insulation, it's something that if you open up the attic of the house, it's going to be cool as the rest of the house because no cold air or hot air is going to get through," Ryan said.

The house is being partly built with farm grown lumber, rather than trees cut from forests, and the outside will be sided with cedar shake made from cement fiber.

The green transformation doesn't end there.

The Madsons are looking to install a TIREA system; it's a heating and cooling system that uses water tanks. It burns no fossil fuels, and can cut energy bills by 70 percent. This is a more afforable option than a geothermal system that requires wells to be dug in your yard. State of the art energy efficient lighting will also be installed.

John Kelly of Caledonia Renovations is the builder.

"They last up to 80,000 hours versus incandescent which last only about 2,000 hours," Kelly said.

For the average homeowner, expect to pay about $35,000 to install all these upgrades. Government grants and tax credits are available to help ease the burden and Kelly says you'll see a return in less than five years.

"It's amazing to see people when I've completed their house and they look at their energy bills and they say 'wow, this is like a quarter of what we thought it would be,'" Kelly said.

The Madsons say once they move in this spring they're looking forward to opening their first utility bill.

"I think if we open it up and see that teeny tiny number, we'll be happy about what our house is putting into the sky," Sarah said.

Ryan's visibility as a star relief pitcher has now made him an inspiration on the green scene and that's all right with him.

"That's just a bonus that if anybody can pick up on it and learn from it and implement it in their houses and their renovations, that'd be great," Ryan said.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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