Project Description

A green home uses sustainable materials and is designed to capture amazing mountain views


Perched at the edge of a canyon and surrounded by sweeping 180 degree mountain views, this home is organized along a linear axis to take advantage of these views from every main room of the house. A butterfly roof tops walls of windows facing these views, but these windows also serve the purpose of allowing sun into the home to passively heat the space. Stained concrete floors serve as a heat sink for the solar energy which gets re-radiated back into the space at night. The home is constructed of Durisol® block, a green building block made of recycled products that is filled with poured-in-place concrete. Glulam beams, made of smaller wood members glued together, support a roof of SIPS (structural insulated panels). On the garage, solar hot water panels and photovoltaic panels provide hot water and electricity for the house.

Project Info & Tips

  • Consider the durability of materials when designing a green home. Choosing more durable materials creates a longer lasting building, which reduces energy in the long run
  • Orient a house for good solar orientation if you can. Sometimes a view will dictate where glazing is located, but also try to locate glazing on the south side of the home to capture sunlight
  • SIPS panels are strong and a great insulator, but make running wires and pipes difficult. Planning ahead helps, and also consider options other than recessed lighting. If you must have recessed lighting, it is often easier to furr down the ceiling to accommodate the depth of can lights. Or consider new LED cans that are very slim
  • To learn more, see our article on Green Design
  • Level of Design Services: Full Services
  • How do I Estimate Construction Cost and Design Fees?
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