Green design and construction continue to gain momentum in the housing industry. Once niche fields, incorporating sustainability into the thought process of creating a custom home is now common practice. Increasingly homeowners feel that healthy, environmentally friendly, low-maintenance, and energy-efficient houses make for a better quality of life. This trend, coupled with the fact that sustainable design has become a popular marketing tool, means that a higher percentage of the entries into our annual Custom Home Design Awards (CHDA) program are green in some (or many) ways.

In the attached slideshow we highlight several past CHDA winners that make solar orientation, sustainable materials, and products a priority. These award-winning designs feature green attributes that often helped them make it through several elimination rounds to land in the final selection pile. Many of the projects use alternative energy sources such as solar or geothermal, some recycle rainwater runoff for irrigation, most take maximum advantage of free resources like daylighting and natural ventilation, and all use nontoxic, renewable, and durable materials,  in compelling ways.

After viewing the slideshow, take a look back at your own work from the past five years and think about entering it into our 20th annual CHDA program. Register or get more information at