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HistoryWe’re Charlie Weiss and Katharine Lawrence. We grew up in Portland and each lived and traveled around the world before returning. In 1993 we designed and built a house for ourselves that incorporated many elements of what wasn’t yet called “green”: radiant floors, solar hot water, natural, durable and non-toxic materials, a flexible and modest-sized floor plan, efficient appliances and fixtures. We had such a great time doing it that we couldn’t wait to build again. As more green materials and systems emerged, our dream to build a super-green house became even more real. We bought a neighbor’s aging rental house across the street in 1999, and the rest is… written below!
A little about us…
Charlie (www.LaunchBx.com) studied environmental architecture for a time in college, then worked construction jobs, and worked on several of his own and other people’s remodeling projects. In his other life as a business consultant, he learns new clients' technologies and businesses, and uses qualitative research to advise them. Recent client projects led into energy efficiency and materials, and small businesses' adoption of sustainable behavior. So his natural inclination to climb learning curves helped develop our energy systems, rainwater harvesting, and materials.
Katharine and her brother spent many childhood hours playing “architect” with a stash of graph paper and a pile of Lincoln Logs. Her history degree equipped her for work in graphic design, writing and editing, marketing, and medical research laboratory management. Her interest in green construction grew from building her first house with Charlie and getting swept up in his enthusiasm and careful research.
In developing the first two Leapfrog Houses, we’ve explored, planned, dreamed, and conferred with experts in many areas of green building. At this point, we’re excited: with our passion and persistence, we think we’ve built two of the region’s – maybe the country’s – greenest, highest-performing homes.
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