10th Annual Green Home of the Year Award Winner: Bluff Beauty
This custom home demonstrates health and resilience in a High Desert setting.
Tables that show off the unfinished, or “live” edge of a beautiful slab of wood are increasingly popular, and the graceful Live Edge home, north of Bend, Oregon, includes two distinctive pieces of custom furniture with live edges: a walnut coffee table and a dining table made from reclaimed zapatero. But the home itself, nestled into a bluff above the Deschutes River, is also a kind of live edge. Architect Lydia Peters of Nathan Good Architects designed the home around the rocky outcroppings and sculptured juniper trees that distinguish the High Desert landscape.
“Like so many great projects, this one started with great clients,” says Nathan Good, FAIA. “These clients wanted to build a home that had as little negative impact to the environment and to others as possible. Though they wish to remain anonymous, they are pleased to have their LEED Platinum-certified home serve as inspiration and a demonstration tool.”
Live Edge was built by Bend-based Leader Builders LLC. The distinctly modern home is characterized by an earth-toned palette and natural materials, inside and out. Materials were carefully selected to enhance the design and reflect environmental responsibility.
Name: Live Edge; Bend, Oregon
Architect/Designer: Lydia Peters, Nathan Good Architects
Builder: Dennis Szigeti, Leader Builders LLC
Interior Designer: Lydia Peters, Nathan Good Architects
Landscape Designer: Chris Hart-Henderson,
Heart Springs Landscape Design
Photographer: Rick Keating, RK Productions
Some come with interesting stories. For example, the flooring is made from reclaimed shipping crates that arrive in the Port of Portland from Southeast Asia. Sourced from dense Asian hardwoods, the material has a striking grain and is extremely hard and durable.
Though based in Oregon, Nathan Good Architects has designed projects for clients in Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico—projects that share in common a responsiveness to a particular climate. Live Edge includes baked-in resilience, starting with durable and fire-resistant exterior materials, such as the metal roofing and plaster. Inside, a sprinkler system protects the home and its occupants from fire.
Live Edge is served by a well, but it also includes a 1,800-gallon potable water cistern, and an attached greenhouse and frost-protected raised beds allow the homeowners to grow some of their own food.
A 22-kW solar array with a 15-kW PowerWall battery backup system from Tesla ensures the home will not consume more energy than it produces, and that vital functions can stay up and running during power outages.
Live Edge also includes a number of accessibility features, including zero-threshold showers, grab bars in every bathroom, 36-inch door openings, washlet toilets, an elevator, and ergonomic door and cabinet hardware, all of which enable the owners to remain in their home as they age.
Landscape designer Chris Hart-Henderson of Heart Springs Landscape Design played a key role in integrating the dwelling with the surrounding landscape, keeping as much of the native vegetation as possible. New plantings, which are limited to the area immediately surrounding the home, require little irrigation and no pesticides or herbicides. Sand-set blue stone flagstone and mortared blue stone squares and rectangles enhance the plantings.
This is Nathan Good Architects’ eighth LEED Platinum home. Live Edge has earned other accolades, including the Rethinking the Future 2017 Sustainability Award in the “Residence Built” category.
“We recognize the need to serve as champions for green homes in the luxury home market,” says Good. “There are a lot of lessons learned in high-end market that we can apply to other projects.”
Good cites the example of another effort, completed in Salem last year, which has earned LEED Platinum certification. The home is “near net zero”—the homeowners enjoyed five months with no electric bill—and cost $180 per square foot to build.
Appliances: Dacor range, Subzero refrigerator, Miele dishwasher, Dacor microwave drawer, Vent-a-Hood, Fire Magic (all Energy Star)
Automotive (electric car charging, etc.): Tesla EV charging station
Building Envelope: Grace Ice & Water Shield HT self-adhered underlayment; Prosoco R-Guard WRB; Grace Preprufe 300R waterproofing membrane
Cabinets, Shelves, Millwork: Bladt’s Custom Woodworking
Central Vac: Vacuflo
Countertops: Natural stone and Cambria Devon quartz
Doors and Hardware: Rogue Valley Door clear fir doors; Baldwin door hardware
Electrical: All-LED lighting with Lutron RadioRA 2 system
Exterior Finishes: Stained cedar tongue-and-groove rainscreen; Montana Moss Stone
Fire Protection: Reliable concealed-head residential sprinkler system
Fireplace: Isokern wood-burning modular fireplace
Flooring: Viridian fish tail oak reclaimed engineered flooring
Home Controls: Lutron RadioRA 2
HVAC/Ducts: Daikin Altherma air-to-water heat pump; Zehnder ComfoAir 550 and 160 HRV; Uponor USA Quik Trak hydronic floor heating system.
Insulation: JM Climate Pro blow-in fiberglass; Atlas ACFoam polyisocyanurate roof insulation; CertainTeed CertaSpray closed-cell spray foam insulation.
Lighting: All-LED: Aculux, Juno, Tech Lighting, Pure Lighting, BK Lighting, WAC Lighting, StickBulb Lighting, Lighting Surfaces Inc., and Bega Lighting
Paints and Stains: Benjamin Moore Aura; Benjamin Moore Stays Clear; OSMO Polyx hard wax oil
Plumbing/Plumbing Fixtures: Toto (toilets); Blanco and Elkay (sinks); Hansgrohe and Grohe (fixtures and fittings); Kohler, Kollista and Duravit (bathroom sinks); MTI tubs.
Renewable Energy Systems (solar, wind, etc.): Sunlight Solar Energy 18-kW PV array; Tesla PowerWall
Roof: Taylor Metal Versa-Span standing seam
Telecommunications: Bend Broadband and Yellowknife Internet
Ventilation: Zehnder ComfoAir 550 and 160 HRV
Water Filtration: Kinetico MACH 2060s
Water Heating: Daikin Altherma hydrobox
Window Coverings: Eclipse E-Zip exterior solar shades; Silent Gliss recessed curtain track
Windows, Skylights, Patio Doors: Unilux ModernLine, IsoStar and FineLine