For years, only one thing marred the view from Old Mill Road and Elvira Mae’s, down Hillspoint Road. There — sandwiched between handsome beach homes and the beach itself — sat a blight house.
Unkempt and untended, it looked out of place. And dangerous.
When Robin Tauck bought the property, and an adjacent lot, she wanted to maintain the traditional beach community vibe. But she’s also an ardent environmentalist.
Her vision for the blight house was to maintain the same footprint for minimal impact, while creating a model for future homes.
Working with architect Michael Greenberg and TecKnow, the Bedford Square-based company that combines automation technology with green energy products, she built an innovative “guest cottage.” (Her own, similarly designed home, is next door.)
227 Hillspoint Road uses sustainable building practices and innovative technology. Solar and battery storage is optimized, so the house is run almost entirely off the grid.
It meets many of the standards for a Green Building Award: rehabilitation, energy efficiency, innovation, conservation, sustainability, and modeling for the future.
So the other day — around the same time the United Nations hosted its Climate Action Summit — Governor Ned Lamont and Congressman Jim Himes were in town. So was Albert Gore III, from Tesla (one of the companies TecKnow works with), environmental leaders from groups like Sustainable Westport and Save the Sound, and all 3 selectmen.
They presented Tauck, Greenberg and TecKnow with a Green Building Award. It recognizes this project, for its contribution to sustainability.
The honor signifies one more step on Westport’s path to being a net zero community, by 2050.
And it also shows that a small, blighted house need not be replaced by a bigger, more energy-sapping one.
Especially at such a well-known, beloved and lovely spot by the shore.