New Educational Film Captures and Defines Essence of Green Homes

KENNETT SQUARE, PA, March 2009 : Avrim and Vicki Topel, authors of Green Beginnings: The Story of How We Built Our Green & Sustainable Home today announced the release of the GREEN BEGINNINGS VIDEO, a new educational documentary about green homes.

The Green Beginnings Video is a unique, original-content eco-documentary that features the professional team who built the Green Beginnings house, an award-winning LEED Silver green and sustainable home. The team offers perspective as they explain the project and green homes in a new stand-alone educational film that can also be utilized as an adjunct teaching companion to the Green Beginnings Book that explains the project and green homes from the homeowner’s perspective.

Viewed together with the Green Beginnings book as a complete green homes educational package, viewers are offered a unique opportunity to contrast the homeowners’ point of view (consumer mindset) with the professionals’ perspective and understanding of green homes. Produced by Freeland Media in association with Amy Cornelius, LEED AP, Hugh Lofting Timber Frames, and directed by award winning cinematographer Erik Freeland, the film depicts the collaborative effort between the professional team and homeowners who designed and built the Green Beginnings house, a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver home. Shot on location amidst a picturesque backdrop of rolling farmlands in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the film follows the true story of planning and building a state-of-the-art green and sustainable home. A top-notch professional creative team assembled by green builder and legendary timber frame artisan Hugh Lofting (whose grandfather of the same name authored the Dr. Doolittle books), an extraordinary homebuilding project, and a collective commitment to the cause make a powerful emotional connection with the audience and sets the stage for this eco-documentary to become the new, definitive, “learn about green homes” educational video of the times when it debuts later this month.

The story begins with project manager Amy Cornelius and eco-architect Matthew Moger, Lyman Perry Architects (prior HGTV productions) recounting the events that lead to the homeowners’ decision to build green. Cornelius explains and defines green building as Moger recalls the homeowners’ learning process and expounds upon good, smart, sustainable design and the relationships green homes have with the surroundings from which they are created. Moger’s eloquent descriptive language evokes powerful imagery, and the homeowners’ commitments to learning about living green and becoming active participants in the process are genuine and provide a glimpse at today’s consumers embracing change.

Freeland’s months spent on location researching the holistic green building process enable him to reveal the interdependencies among the respective professionals that are requisite with today’s green building. In a series of engaging interviews between host Lou Gallagher and members of the professional team, filmmaker Erik Freeland surpasses prior construction film benchmarks as he captures the collective essence and spirit of the integrative green building approach as recommended by the U.S. Green Building Council for the first time on film. Oliviere’s intelligent queries prompt the builder, architect, sustainable engineer, and landscape architect to discuss their respective areas of expertise as they tour the home and property in a way that ultimately reveals how the pieces come together to make the home green. Sustainable engineer Tad Radzinsky, P.E, whose role was to specify all products and systems green and sustainable, reduces otherwise hard-to-understand technical terms and concepts into simple applications and language in the spirit of helping others to understand green homes.

Film Succeeds on Many Levels
This educational film differentiates itself from other how-to green building videos by presenting the subject matter comprehensively and holistically in the spirit of the integrative green building approach recommended by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Rating System.

When viewed together with the Green Beginnings book as a complete green homes educational package, the audience is presented a unique opportunity to contrast the homeowners’ perspective and consumer mindset with the professionals’ understanding of green homes and homebuilding to hear both sides of the story.

This movie uses a real-life experience to present a comprehensive overview of green homes including how the various professional disciplines and their respective technologies, materials and systems work together to produce green homes, the amazing 21st century dwellings that provide significant health and economic benefits to their occupants and the communities in which they are built, and serve to conserve natural resources and remedy the environmental ills that are ravaging the planet.

Green Beginnings is the outreach initiative of husband-and-wife author team Avrim and Vicki Topel to introduce and educate people about green homes with their book, educational tours of their home, and their video.

The video is currently available in DVD and downloadable formats for purchase at the Green Beginnings website Other retail venues are being reviewed and will be announced soon.

Green Beginnings is presently seeking college and university engineering, architecture, and environmental business and science graduate and undergraduate level classrooms to add the book and video educational package as an adjunct learning experience to their curriculum. Interested educators can request information at

Vicki Topel