Marcellus contractor embraces earth's beauty in his work

Building green:

Scott McClurg, founder of McClurg Remodeling and Construction, likes his projects lean and green.

And the upcoming housing development in Marcellus, Sycamore Hill Gardens and Hanford Farm, is right up his alley, he said.

McClurg is responsible for helping to fulfill the vision of county legislator candidate Karen Hanford of Marcellus -- a community that reverts back to older times and doesn't rely on a petroleum-based system for a primary energy source.

The goal is simple: Save money and energy for residents and keep waste and negative impact on Mother Earth to a minimum.

"Excited isn't even the word for it," he said about getting started.

What will separate Sycamore Hills from the rest of the "McMansion" developments seen nationwide, he said, will be the incorporation of nature-preserving construction and maintenance.

"When building, terrorizing the land is the worst thing you can do," he said.

The project is still in the early phases of planning, but when its time for the dirt to start flying, McClurg will adhere to the U.S. Green Building Council protocol of leadership, energy, environmental and design.

The development may be heated and cooled by a geothermal system, solar panels will offer additional energy options, it will be entirely walkable and residents will most likely share a community well and septic tank. Expect trees to be part of the final product, he said.

Houses will be built using oriented strandboard -- chips of otherwise useless wood glued together to make boards.

Foundations and sidewalks may be poured with slag ash concrete that is more chemically resistant to the elements and offers greater strength and durability than traditional concrete products. Using slag ash is utilizing a waste product of steel production.

The idea, McClurg said, is to be as gentle on the earth as possible, while offering residents in the development long-term financial savings.

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