Straw bale "Troll House" at Ithaca Children's Garden
Image by Sandy Repp

Straw bale & timber frame "Troll House" under construction at Ithaca Children's Garden

2011 Open House

Saturday & Sunday, October 1-2, 10:00am-4:00pm

Start the weekend with a sneak preview of a locally filmed documentary on energy alternatives, then visit up to 24 homes and businesses that use renewable energy and/or eco-friendly building practices. Half the homes are open to the public on each day for self-guided tours. Homeowners and/or green building professionals will be on-site to answer your questions and describe their building's green features -- such as energy-efficient appliances, passive solar design, photovoltaics, wind power, salvaged and non-toxic building materials, local lumber, strawbale construction and much more!


"Empowered" documentary screening & panel discussion
Friday, September 30, 7:00-9:00pm

Cinemapolis, 120 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY
($10) "Empowered" tells the story of Tompkins County locals who are striving for energy independence by embracing alternatives to fossil fuels, from solar and wind to veggie oil and geothermal. Come to this exclusive community sneak peek to meet the filmmakers and connect with local innovators who can help you join the global movement for renewable energy. The film is directed by Shira Golding and produced by Suzanne McMannis. Visit for more information.


Our tour takes place over two days, with half of the homes open on Saturday, and half on SundayPlease visit sites ONLY on the days that the owners have agreed to be open! Visitors may view participating sites between 10:00am and 4:00pm each day.

MAPS: Pick up your free printed 2011 Green Buildings Open House Map in advance and plan your intinerary! Maps include brief descriptions and photos of each site, the day each site is open, and its location on a road map. Print maps also include a Site Matrix that lists special green building features of each tour site. Printed maps are available in Ithaca at CCE-Tompkins (615 Willow Ave.), Home Green Home (on the Commons), Greenstar Cooperative Market (701 W. Buffalo St.) and Greenstar's Oasis Natural Grocery (215 N. Cayuga St.), Ithaca Bakery (400 N. Meadow St.), Tompkins County Public Library (corner of Cayuga and Green Sts.), the Visitors Center (East Shore Dr.), Significant Elements (212 Center St.), Gimme Coffee (438 W. State St.), and Mimi's Attic / Mama Goose (430 W. State St.); in Trumansburg at Gimme Coffee (7 E. Main St.), Shur-Save (2085 Rte. 96), and Rent-A-Flick (203 E. Main St.); in Lansing at Finger Lakes ReUse and Ithaca Coffee Company (both in the Triphammer Mall) and the Lansing Town Offices (29 Auburn Rd.); in Dryden at the Dryden Cafe (corner of Rtes. 13 and 38); in Groton at Baker-Miller Lumber (102 W. Cortland St.); in Newfield at the Newfield Public Library; in Brooktondale at Brookton's Market (491 Brooktondale Rd.); in Danby at Dolce Delight (1080 Danby Rd.) and the Danby Town Hall (1830 Danby Rd.); and other locations. 


We've set up a GOOGLE MAP of this year's tour sites. Yellow icons are for sites open on Saturday, October 1st, Blue icons are for sites open on Sunday, October 2nd, and the red icon is the location of this year's Friday night presentation of "Empowered". By clicking on the icon accompanying each location, you can view a photo of that building and find a link to a separate CCE page that contains detailed building specs, special considerations and other important information about that site. NOTE: since there may be last-minute changes to the schedule, please check back close to the date of the event. Visit the GOOGLE MAP.

SITE MATRIX: This spreadsheet provides a great way to cross-reference some of the more interesting features offered by each site on the tour this year. You can download it in Excel (48kb) and PDF (32kb) formats


NEW THIS YEAR! To help make the Green Buildings Open House a self-sustaining event, visitors are asked to purchase a wristband for $5. Proceeds will help cover event costs not met by advertising sales and grant funds. Wristbands are $5 and are good for admission to all sites over both days. They may be purchased at CCE-Tompkins (615 Willow Ave., Ithaca), Home Green Home (on the Ithaca Commons), Greenstar Cooperative Market (701 W. Buffalo Street, Ithaca), and select tour sites during the Open House*. Everyone who buys a wristband will be entered in a raffle for prizes, including gift certificates to local vendors. Children under 18 are FREE and no one will be turned away, but we encourage you to support the event if you are able. 

WRISTBAND SALES DURING THE EVENT: *Wristbands will be available during the event on SATURDAY at 302 Cascadilla St., Ithaca and 112 Lansingville Rd., Lansing; and on SUNDAY at 83 Maplewood Rd., Ithaca and 110 Delaware Ave., Ithaca; and at Greenstar Cooperative Market both days. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED!

Some sites on our tour receive several hundred visitors during the course of the day. Volunteers can help by directing visitors to sign in, providing information about the site's features, or just giving the homeowners a break to eat lunch! Volunteers are stationed for 2 or more hours at a site. If you would like to get an intimate, first-hand look at some of the most inspiring green buildings in the area and help us promote green building principles, please contact Guillermo Metz at



Preregistration is REQUIRED. All vans leave from CCE-Tompkins (615 Willow Avenue in Ithaca) at 10:00am. There is a charge of $10 per person or $15 for a couple from the same household for these tours. Light snacks will be provided, but please pack a lunch. Call (607) 272-2292 or email to preregister. Visit the links below for more information about each site to be visited.

Renovus Energy, Ithaca
115 Enfield Center Road West, Enfield
326 Aiken Road, Trumansburg
EcoVillage at Ithaca, Ithaca

Van #2:
119 S. Hill Terrace, Ithaca
118 Ross Road, Lansing
112 Lansingville Road, Lansing

Van #1:
4097 Hickok Road, Interlaken
6301 Searsburg Road, Trumansburg
8000 Searsburg Road, Trumansburg
83 Maplewood Road, Ithaca

Van #2:
349 Midline Road, Dryden
Caroline Town Offices, Slaterville Springs
196 Creamery Road, Brooktondale
30 Durfee Hill Road, Danby

Last updated September 29, 2015