By Elizabeth Raines Beeler
September 06, 2006

Builders Dan Griffith and Stephanie Starostka Welch combined natural and composite materials for an authentic look that stands up to Oregon’s harsh climate. “Our goal was to create a house that blends with the environment. We wanted it to look like it belonged in this ecosystem,” says Dan. They shingled the Pacific Retreat in a composite material designed to outlast wood, then stained it with a semitransparent finish for instant patina and additional protection. Natural cedar accents complete the exterior.

The design for our Idea Cottage, and all the products inside and out, promote the concept of comfortable and energy-efficient living.
• A built-in purification system cleans hot and cool air brought into the house.
• Paperless drywall resists mildew that could otherwise develop behind walls.
• Formaldehyde-free insulation enhances indoor air quality while resisting mold.
• Heated tile floors in the baths, entry, mudroom, and showers deliver a steady heat source, eliminating the need to constantly readjust thermostats.
• A fire-retardant gray metal roof coordinates with double-pane windows clad in black aluminum.
• UV protection on the windows reduces operating costs.