Green, Healthy and Smart House

On The Block

Lissa Rosenthal and Nathaniel Glosser’s three-story house blends in with the other attractive brick homes in Highland Park, but their eco-conscious renovation transformed this house into one of Pittsburgh’s coolest and greenest luxury properties.

One of their first green acts was to support local artists and artisans. Custom glass-block windows by local glass artist Drew Hine are featured in the bathrooms and a sculpture commissioned by Pennsylvania artist Ben Cunningham is a site-specific, three-story installation from reclaimed laboratory glassware.

Rapidly renewable materials meet modern design and luxury throughout the home. The environmentally minded pair stripped their home down to its studs and completely rebuilt using some of the newest technology in building arts to minimize its impact on the environment while making no sacrifice to style and comfort. For insulation, they skipped traditional and often-toxic materials like fiberglass that contain formaldehyde. Instead they chose Isynene, a non-outgassing foam. Thanks to this material, the pair reports, the temperature indoors never varies more than two degrees in this sleek, Japanese-inspired space with extensive custom bamboo casework, flooring and trim.

Using the latest technology in home automation, a Mac Mini houses the brains of the residence with many programmable features including an automated lighting system that illuminates the interior to coincide with each day’s sunset.

Some of the house’s appliances, including the six-burner Viking Professional Series stove and walk-in showers with jet sprays and rain pan, are not perfectly green, Rosenthal admits. But, as she goes on to say, she has shed a bit of her environmental guilt. “There is no need to be a case-study green fanatic. Just introduce as many green things into your home as you can.”

The first-floor open floor plan allows for multiple entertaining and living scenarios while providing optimal use of passive solar energy and natural ventilation.

The exterior renovations maintain the integrity of the original design of the house while providing a glimpse of the eco-contemporary transformation found inside.

The master suite is complete with custom built-in closets and dressers and en suite bath (shown far right) with poured-concrete vanity and shower by Outlaw.

Eco-smart construction and finished materials were locally sourced by Artemis ( in Lawrenceville.

Live bamboo and ornamental grasses are a beautiful option requiring minimal maintenance.

For more information:
Address: 1422 Greystone Drive, Highland Park
Price: $589,000
Realtors: Previews International, Coldwell Banker
Agents: Cindy Ingram, Ken Clever, Teekie Smith
Architect: Stuart Horne, AIA, of Seigel, Solow Horne

Categories: HOME + Design