Business

Green building for green thumbs

I t only makes sense that a business specializing in greenery would be housed in a “green” building.

That’s certainly the case for Sally’s Garden Store in Coupeville.

Owner Sally Clifton’s husband, Ted, constructed the new 2,500-square-foot building in Coupe’s Village using a variety of “green” building techniques, including in-floor radiant heating and solid foam insulation. Ted owns Clifton View Homes, a Coupeville general contracting firm.

“The old building had no insulation and the heating bill was astronomical,” Clifton said “And with resources as limited as they are now and with the price of fuel, this will be a good thing for us.”

Known as SIPS, the Structurally Insulated Panel System walls are essentially foam with wood paneling on both sides.

Clifton’s husband, Ted, said the walls have no studs, and are therefore virtually impermeable. This allows for better air quality and a smaller chance of mold, which traditionally builds up in empty spaces in standard walls.

The in-floor radiant heating, Ted said, is an effective and efficient way to heat a building. Forced air heat dissipates when a door is open and cold air is let in, resulting in a furnace using more energy to re-heat the room.

“With in-floor radiant heating, the actual air temperature can be cooler because the floor is radiating heat onto your body,” he said. “You can open a door or have a door open and the heat doesn’t go away.”

He said that feature makes in-floor heating the ideal choice for a business where doors are constantly opening and closing.

The attached greenhouse on the east side of the building is also a passive solar building that heats up first thing in the morning as the sun rises. The heat from the sun warms that room and radiates through the building.

The store celebrated its grand re-opening on May 1 in a familiar location — directly in front of the old building, which was torn down.

“The building decided it was time for a change,” Sally said.

She said the plumbing and electrical were going out in the 100-year-old building, and the foundation was beginning to sink. But even with the remodel, the old structure wasn’t completely forgotten.

“We have one rock we saved, and incorporated as part of the new sidewalk, that was part of the old building,” she said.

As the holidays approach, business tends to pick up, Clifton said. For those customers who want to shop but can’t quite make it in before the store’s 5:30 p.m. closing time, Clifton will offer one night a week of late hours. Beginning Thursday, Oct. 27, and continuing every Thursday thereafter until Christmas, Sally’s Garden Store will stay open until 6:30 p.m. — 7 p.m. if the customer demand is high, Clifton said.

During the busy spring and summer months, the store focuses on a variety of indoor and outdoor greenery.

“We probably do the best roses on the island,” Clifton said. “We also have a lot of drought-tolerant plants and trees.”

Dwarf fruit trees are also a popular item, as well as the store’s wide selection of unique perennials. Clifton said she tries to learn about and bring in as many different kinds of perennials as possible.

And for those who favor plants with a more tropical flavor, the greenhouse offers Clifton a chance to develop and expand her selection. The greenhouse also features the majority of the store’s houseplants, as well as a selection of pottery, terra cotta and garden furniture.

Sally’s Garden Store, located at 107 South Main Street, is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

For information or inquiries, call 678-9114.

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