Sandswept was built in 1955 by Mason and Elizabeth Johnson. Mason Johnson was studying engineering at Virginia Tech when WWII began and he joined the Army Air Force. He worked with architect Herbert Smith, his best friend from Oceana High School, and engineered the house to withstand 140 mph winds. The core of the front house is built with steel beams and concrete blocks. In almost 60 years, there has been no settling and no cracks.
Sandswept’s caretaker now is Mason & Elizabeth’s daughter, Gayle Johnson, who is a LEED Accredited Professional with the US Green Building Council, a Certified Green Professional with the National Association of Home Builders, and a Master Conserver since 1978. She became interested in building a net zero home after visiting a prototype on Prince Edward Island in 1976. Her credentials in green building began as a Master Conserver in 1978. Working with a network of building professionals who have been dedicated to building green for decades, she has created two models of highly energy efficient homes.
Renovations at Sandswept have followed guidelines for USGBC and NAHB green building certifications. This provides an integrated process that considers all aspects of creating an energy efficient home. Both LEED and the NAHB Certification programs provide accountability that a home is built as designed and performs as expected, and credibility due to third party verification that the home is built to higher green building standards.
Sandswept leads by example. Our office is carbon neutral, our website host is powered by solar and wind power, and we drive energy efficient hybrids. We recycle all possible building and office materials. We print with soy based ink on recycled paper and we minimize the use of paper in our operations to the greatest extent possible.