This high-efficiency estate home was designed to integrate natural and found materials including adobe floors, earthen architectural reliefs/sculptures, local stone, timber framing, and straw bale walls while also providing comfort and resiliency against power outages and road closures through means including rainwater harvesting, a wood-burning high efficiency masonry heater, and both solar photovoltaics and solar hot water collection.
A century-old, designated heritage home, “Carter House” was originally constructed by the co-founder of the Canadian Cooperatives Association. A renovation and a straw bale addition were designed to preserve the building for the next century.
Energy and water conservation, and occupant resilence were chief among the goals, though always only with materials and methods consistent with or borrowing from historical aesthetic expectations. Photo credit: Evolve Builders Group
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Nestled in a beautiful 170-acre property along Porter Creek in rural Sonoma County, the design and construction of this off-grid homestead create a harmonious fit with minimal impact on both the specific and global landscape, providing a sustainable frame for living and raising twin daughters. The indoor/outdoor flow creates an enriching yet peaceful living space for the family and their deep appreciation of the natural world. Photo credit: Ed Caldwell
An energy-efficient four-season cottage designed to fit the prescribed minimal footprint of840 sq. ft. The home features local cedar, spruce, and white pine, with landscaping basics for the owners to plant using zeroscape permaculture. There is an adjacent storage shed/guest bunkie, an attached screen porch, and a second-floor bedroom balcony overlooking Trout Lake. All exterior pine and cedar timberframe materials were left untreated — to age and grey naturally. Pine/cedar chips were used as initial ground cover; interlock bricks used as patio stones allow drainage; and local stone steps lead to a lakeside dock. Photo credit: New Frameworks
Oh no, not science! the term building science may sound intimidating. After all, you are just trying to build yourself a decent home — is it really necessary to delve into science?