Since 1958, The Allen Morris Company has been famous all over Florida and Georgia as an award winning developer of commercial projects. They are also well known for their commitment to working sustainability into their commercial and industrial properties, combining the ideas of health, energy efficiency, and environmental responsibility into one cohesive driving force. It was only natural, then, for Allen Morris himself to “go green” when it came time to build his dream of an Executive Retreat Lodge named “OutaSpace”-in the hills of North Carolina.
Knowing nothing about constructing this type of a structure, Morris researched all different log building systems, then purchased a log home package from Timeless Mountain Homes, an independent representative for True North Log Homes, and hired Interior Designer, Kerry Whitaker to help him make the smartest-and greenest-choices available in his newest endeavor: to design and build an executive retreat lodge that was also able to meet the rigorous demands of the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification program, as well as the Western North Carolina HealthyBuilt Home program.
Using LEED standards (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, an organization that provides the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance “green” buildings) as a guide, the team was able to develop environmental and performance goals in conjunction with Morris’s desire for modern amenities, comfort, and a beautiful gathering place for his family, friends, and a place for corporate retreats.
LEED also helped Morris’s team take advantage of natural opportunities to lessen environmental impact. For example, landscape artists utilized non-invasive and drought-resistant indigenous plants to minimize water use, and maintained most of the acreage’s existing vegetation and trees.
Green features* throughout the interior of OutaSpace include (but are not limited to) the use of reclaimed wood, water- saving toilets, low-VOC paint and stains, Energy Star appliances, a multi-zoned HVAC system, and energy-saving fluorescent bulbs. Interior decor was made with recycled materials, and most resources were bought locally in order to reduce the carbons emitted from their transportation.
After two years of construction, landscaping and interior design, the result is a majestic three-story logcabin style executive retreat with over 8,373 square feet, and six bedrooms that generously sleep up to 22 people. It also happens to be the only LEED-certified log cabin in North Carolina, and the largest in the US!
The interior theme is founded in America’s national parks with rooms named and decorated accordingly. Throughout the spacious and light-filled rooms, locally obtained materials, furnishings and art are blended with old family favorites and the many collections that reflect the Morris family’s variety of interests, such as hunting, fishing, flying and hiking. OutaSpace is comfortable, warm and inviting–the perfect retreat with a continuing respect for the environment.