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Highland Park home renovations embody green living at its most luxurious

Homeowners Nathaniel Glosser and Lissa Rosenthal want to show Pittsburgh that green living doesn't just feel good; it can also look great.

When the then-couple decided to renovate their Highland Park home--which has been in Glosser's family since 1942--they knew they wanted the renovations to be as eco-conscious as possible to reflect their personal and professional passions. Rosenthal's a PR specialist who worked as the first development director of the Pittsburgh Glass Center, and Glosser is a community activist most recently involved in the Three Rivers Climate Convergence around the G-20 summit.

"We were looking to make a healthy house for individuals living there and for the planet," says Glosser. "Homes are routinely built with materials that use toxins, which contribute to a variety of illnesses. So that's one part of it. It's also that we have one planet and we're using it up, and if we don't make some changes we're going doing to see terrible climate change and deforestation."

The renovations, designed by architect Stuart Horne of Seigle, Solow & Horne, were completed between 2006 and 2007 with the help of Lawrenceville-based Artemis Environmental Building Products.

The five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home balances the best in green living technology with the most up-to-date in opulence. Luxury touches include a first-floor open plan; a gourmet kitchen with a 14-foot island and Italian glass tile wall treatments; a three-story glass sculpture by Pennsylvania artist Ben Cunningham; and an extra deep air-jet bathtub.

In terms of green elements, there are far too many to name, but some standouts include the use of sustainable and eco-friendly materials such as formaldehyde-free bamboo, Paperstone (a soap-stone-like material made of recycled paper and organic resins) and Isynene (an environmentally friendly closed-cell co-polymer foam used to insulate the exterior and interior walls and ceilings). All the heating and cooling is energy-efficient, of course, and all products used are formaldehyde-free with zero to low-levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. And the main roof is made of eco-friendly synthetic tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes, with a 50-year warranty.

The home is located at 1422 Greystone Dr., on a quiet cul-de-sac near Highland Park's Bryant Street commercial district, and is listed at $589,000 through Coldwell Banker.

Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Nathaniel Glosser, Lissa Rosenthal

Photograph courtesy Nathaniel Glosser and Lissa Rosenthal

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