WESTPORT — As Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary this year the official website for Earth Day, www.earthday.org, reminds people that the milestone anniversary “is a great time for anyone to make a difference.”

The owners of the white colonial house at 10 Beechwood Lane are certainly making a difference just by residing in this special place, where almost everything about this house honors Mother Nature without sacrificing sophistication or lifestyle components. Some features are very obviously energy efficient and conducive to protecting the earth, like the geothermal heating and cooling system.

Other features, like the Hardie board exterior siding, are more subtly environmentally friendly. According to the company website, “James Hardie fiber cement siding is engineered to stand up to the elements and stand out in your neighborhood … (and to) protect everything inside from everything outside.” The maintenance-free siding substantially reduces the need to power wash, thereby saving another valuable earth resource: water.

According to the listing agent, the geothermal system is used for heating and cooling, without the need for oil or propane as a back-up. The geothermal system is environmentally friendly, low maintenance, quiet and efficient. A report from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, titled Space Conditioning: The Next Frontier, posted on geoexchange.org, says “Governmental agencies such as the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy, consumer and industry groups, and geothermal system owners all agree: geothermal heating and cooling is considered the world’s greenest and most energy-efficient. That’s because it uses the free renewable solar energy stored in your backyard rather than burning fossil fuels.”

The report continues: “In fact, installing a single geothermal unit is the environmental equivalent of planting 750 trees. Geothermal is the only renewable that provides reliable operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year - making it the reliable renewable … And, since geothermal units aren’t subject to the punishing effect of outdoor weather and fuel combustion, they last longer than nearly any other heating and cooling system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, geothermal units have an average equipment life of 25 years while the underground loop system has a rated material life of more than 100 years.”

There is natural gas for this house but it is used only for the range in the gourmet kitchen and for the barbecue on the stone patio in the backyard. Other sustainability features include a programmable thermostat and Thermopane windows.

The 5,004-square-foot house was built in 2010 on a level property of three-quarters of an acre. The rear lot on which it sits is off a cul-de-sac. Although the listing sheet identifies this house as being located in the Saugatuck neighborhood, it is really rather close to the Post Road (Route 1) near Fresh Market and a wealth of shops and eateries around it. The house is also an easy commute to I-95, and only minutes from Compo Beach, Longshore Club Park, Aspetuck Land Trust’s Haskins Preserve, and downtown Westport.

The paved driveway is lined in Belgium block and there is a flagstone path to the covered front entrance. The front door opens into the two-story foyer. In the formal living room there is a marble fireplace and attractive millwork. In the formal dining room there is the wainscoting on the lower walls.

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Between the dining room and kitchen is a butler’s pantry with a sink and a second dishwasher. The first is in the sizable kitchen, which also features a center island/breakfast bar topped with marble, granite counters, a built-in desk area, custom cabinets, a huge pantry closet, and a pot-filler above the eight-burner Wolf range. In the eat-in area there are sliding doors to the yard. Off the kitchen is the family room, where there is a wall of built-in shelving and cabinetry, and French doors to the stone patio. There is also a first floor office, powder room, and oversized mudroom with plenty of space to keep everyone organized, the agent said.

Upstairs, there are four en suite bedrooms including the master suite, which has a marble bath. The bonus room could be the fifth bedroom if necessary or an in-law or au-pair suite or a game room. The large, insulated attic is ready to be finished. Plumbed and HVAC runs can easily add a bath, bedroom or bedrooms, a playroom, studio and/or storage, the agent said.

More Information

ABOUT THIS HOUSE

STYLE: Colonial

ADDRESS: 10 Beechwood Lane

PRICE: $1,550,000

ROOMS: 11

FEATURES: geothermal system used for heating and cooling (no oil or propane), spray foam insulation, 0.76-acre level property, rear lot, located on a cul-de-sac, stone patio with barbecue, awnings, professional landscaping, underground sprinkler, maintenance-free Hardie board exterior siding, programmable thermostat, Thermopane windows, walking distance to The Conservative synagogue, walking distance to Fresh Market and other stores and restaurants along Post Road (Route 1), easy commute I-95; only minutes to Compo Beach, Longshore Club Park and Aspetuck Land Trust’s Haskins Preserve; audio system, pre-wired for cable, one fireplace, stone wall, attached three-car garage, zoned central air conditioning, natural gas (for indoor range and outdoor barbecue only), public water and sewer connections, attic, ridge vents, basement crawl space, five bedrooms, four full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Saugatuck Elementary, Bedford Middle, Staples High School

ASSESSMENT: $1,147,300

MILL RATE: 16.86 mills

TAXES: $19,343

For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact Mary Ellen Gallagher of KMS Partners and Compass Connecticut, LLC 203-216-0699 or maryellen.gallagher@compass.com.