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Natural Synergy

Green Home of the Year Awards 2013 Best Exterior Integration. 
This LEED platinum house boasts roof gardens and thoughtful landscaping.

FARM HOUSE VERNACULAR and chicken coops were the design inspiration for the 3,960-square-foot, two-story home. Covered walkways, gardens and a pool link the simple gabled structures into a family compound.\


The home is a combination of straw-bale and wood-frame construction, with a living roof—all built to LEED for Homes platinum certification.Twelve thermal solar collectors heat the pool as well as domestic hot water. The solar collectors, supplemented with a geothermal system, also heat a subterranean sand heat sink that holds heat for several weeks for space heating.


The 14kW PV array ensures that the home operates with net-zero energy.The site’s old swimming pool, once covered, now serves primarily as a 20,000-gallon cistern. The collected rainwater irrigates the living roof, and graywater from the home is also used for irrigation.The 32-acre site is part of an historic farm that will eventually be certified organic.


Bioswales and infiltration basins provide natural irrigation—as well as filtering and recharging ground water.