How can a home with no solar panels, no cisterns, no system for collecting and reusing gray water—in other words, no typical trappings of the eco-building movement—earn LEED Platinum certification, the best of the very best, from the U.S. Green Building Council?
It’s all in the design, says contractor Josh Wynne. “Instead of focusing on supplementary systems that often add cost and complexity—and, frankly, things the homeowner wasn’t interested in in terms of cost and upkeep—we focused on design,” Wynne says.
That means everything from the way the 4,200-square-foot home is situated on its pie-shaped lot to ensuring passive lighting and cooling by way of energy-efficient windows that allow cross-ventilation and let in breezes. Virtually all of those windows open to courtyards with over-sized eaves. “There’s very little direct sunlight,” says Wynne. But there’s plenty of natural light. “If the homeowner had any lights on while you were touring the house, she was just showing off.”