Inside this home low-VOC paints, and reclaimed-pine flooring and paneling milled from locally harvested yellow pine was used to reduce air pollution. Instead of accepting factory-applied coatings with high levels of VOCs, they finished the sustainable material on site to lower levels of offgassing.
The barnlike shape of this home does more than mimic this area’s architectural vernacular. Curved roofs aid airflow for natural ventilation. Large banks of windows capture natural light, and the southern exposure takes full advantage of sunlight for solar gain in cool weather. During summer, leaves on the trees shield the house from direct sun.
A mix of sustainable and healthy products, such as bamboo floors and formaldehyde-free fabrics, introduces fewer chemicals in the environment of this home. There’s no one part that makes this a healthy house. It takes all the pieces working together.
Common real estate practice places a premium on coastal bluff homesites, but the landscape architect of this development had a different idea of value: Instead of giving that prime location to a single homeowner, he left the bluffs open to all, thus making them a community amenity. He also allowed only 50 percent of the land for private ownership, designed roads to follow the land’s natural contours, and emphasized the bluff, meadow, hedgerow, and forest over ostentatious house placements.
Save trees and trim your energy bill! The placement of this house and its decks was dictated by the existing trees, limiting the number that were cut during construction. In return, the trees provide shade that keeps the house cool.