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Sustainable CHDA Winners

These past winners of our annual Custom Home Design Awards were all designed and built with sustainability as a top priority.

Sustainable CHDA Winners

These past winners of our annual Custom Home Design Awards were all designed and built with sustainability as a top priority.

  • Plenty of decks and overhangs protect the Sustainable Steel Home from the hot San Diego sun.

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    Plenty of decks and overhangs protect the Sustainable Steel Home from the hot San Diego sun.

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    Scot Conti

    2011 Grand Award- Custom Home 3,000 to 5,000 square feet
    Macy Architecture / Jensen & Macy Architects, San Francisco

    Plenty of decks and overhangs protect the Sustainable Steel Home from the hot San Diego sun. The house maximizes its infill location by providing city and water views to the main rooms, which all occupy the second floor. Photovoltaics produce on-site power, and rainwater harvesting meets the site's irrigation needs. Lots of glass, both transparent and translucent, helps with daylighting and passive solar.

  • Wood-and-resin panels form an exterior rainscreen.

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    Wood-and-resin panels form an exterior rainscreen.

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    Scot Conti

    Wood-and-resin panels form an exterior rainscreen.

  • A view terrace above the garage connects back to the main house via a glass bridge crossing over the courtyard.

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    A view terrace above the garage connects back to the main house via a glass bridge crossing over the courtyard.

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    Scot Conti

    A view terrace above the garage connects back to the main house via a glass bridge crossing over the courtyard.

  • A cantilevered deck juts out to shade the entry patio.

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    A cantilevered deck juts out to shade the entry patio.

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    Scot Conti

    A cantilevered deck juts out to shade the entry patio.

  • A view across the atrium and into the master bedroom. Architect Mark Macy placed the home??s major rooms on the top floor.

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    A view across the atrium and into the master bedroom. Architect Mark Macy placed the home??s major rooms on the top floor.

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    Scot Conti

    A view across the atrium and into the master bedroom. Architect Mark Macy placed the home's major rooms on the top floor.

  • The living room takes in a view of the Pacific Ocean.

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    The living room takes in a view of the Pacific Ocean.

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    Scot Conti

    The living room takes in a view of the Pacific Ocean.

  • A covered entry pavilion provides a dramatic transition from the street to the house.

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    A covered entry pavilion provides a dramatic transition from the street to the house.

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    Scot Conti

    A covered entry pavilion provides a dramatic transition from the street to the house.

  • A site plan of the house.

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    A site plan of the house.

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    courtesy Mark Macy

    A site plan of the house.

  • This lakefront retreat employs off-the-shelf materials to sophisticated effect.

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    This lakefront retreat employs off-the-shelf materials to sophisticated effect.

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    Jeffrey Jacobs

    2011 Grand Award - Accessory Building
    Cape Russell Retreat, Sharps Chapel, Tenn.
    Sanders Pace Architecture, Knoxville, Tenn.

    This lakefront retreat employs off-the-shelf materials to sophisticated effect. A rooftop photovoltaic panel charges a bank of batteries, housed inside the bench, which powers the lights, refrigerator, and ceiling fans. A 400-gallon cistern stores rainwater harvested from the butterfly roof.

  • Located upstream from a hydroelectric dam, the building was designed to let high water flow through.

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    Located upstream from a hydroelectric dam, the building was designed to let high water flow through.

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    Jeffrey Jacobs

    Located upstream from a hydroelectric dam, the building was designed to let high water flow through.

  • Walls of spaced cedar 2x4s were shop fabricated and trucked to the site for quick assembly.

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    Walls of spaced cedar 2x4s were shop fabricated and trucked to the site for quick assembly.

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    Jeffrey Jacobs

    Walls of spaced cedar 2x4s were shop fabricated and trucked to the site for quick assembly.

  • The floor plan and a view of the building from the lake.

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    The floor plan and a view of the building from the lake.

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    Brandon Pace

    The floor plan and a view of the building from the lake.

  • Elevations and building section.

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    Elevations and building section.

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    Brandon Pace

    Elevations and building section.

  • This North Carolina house takes a contemporary approach to integrating architecture and sustainability.

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    This North Carolina house takes a contemporary approach to integrating architecture and sustainability.

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    Todd Lanning

    Merit Award - Custom Home / 3,000 to 5,000 Square Feet
    GREENville House, Greenville, N.C.
    Tonic Design, Raleigh, N.C.

    This LEED Silver-rated North Carolina house takes a contemporary approach to integrating architecture and sustainability. Aluminum rooftop “trays” provide integrated mounting for photovoltaic and solar thermal panels, turning down at the roof's edge to shade the windows. The house's low-maintenance shell combines brick-, red cedar-, and zinc-clad forms in an interlocking composition.

  • Long, narrow wings pinwheel out from the house??s two-story core, maximizing the exposure of windows and rooftop solar panels.

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    Long, narrow wings pinwheel out from the house??s two-story core, maximizing the exposure of windows and rooftop solar panels.

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    Todd Lanning

    Long, narrow wings pinwheel out from the house's two-story core, maximizing the exposure of windows and rooftop solar panels.

  • The house earned a LEED for Homes Silver rating and qualified under the Energy Star and EPA Indoor Air Plus programs.

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    The house earned a LEED for Homes Silver rating and qualified under the Energy Star and EPA Indoor Air Plus programs.

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    Courtesy Tonic Design

    The house earned a LEED for Homes Silver rating and qualified under the Energy Star and EPA Indoor Air Plus programs.

  • Rooftop ??trays?? constitute both mounting brackets for solar panels and shading devices for windows.

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    Rooftop ??trays?? constitute both mounting brackets for solar panels and shading devices for windows.

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    Photos: Todd Lanning

    Rooftop "trays" constitute both mounting brackets for solar panels and shading devices for windows.

  • The house??s two-story open-plan core provides natural light and outdoor views in all four directions.

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    The house??s two-story open-plan core provides natural light and outdoor views in all four directions.

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    Todd Lanning

    The house's two-story open-plan core provides natural light and outdoor views in all four directions.

  • Clerestory glazing emphasizes the height of the living area.

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    Clerestory glazing emphasizes the height of the living area.

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    Todd Lanning

    Clerestory glazing emphasizes the height of the living area.

  • Views of the kitchen and dining areas.

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    Views of the kitchen and dining areas.

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    Todd Lanning

    Views of the kitchen and dining areas.

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    Paul Hultberg Photography

    Grand Award - Custom Home / Less Than 3,000 Square Feet
    RainShine House, Decatur, Ga.
    Robert M. Cain, Architect, Atlanta

    With its symmetrical facade and a front setback matching that of surrounding houses, this modernist composition fits comfortably among its more traditional neighbors. This LEED Platinum–certified house puts a check in every column: passive solar, active solar, rainwater collection, natural daylighting and ventilation, energy-efficient electrical and mechanical systems, resource-conserving materials, a tight building envelope, low-VOC finishes, and no-irrigation landscaping.

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    Paul Hultberg Photography

    A center-sloping butterfly roof facilitates rainwater catchment while serving as a mounting platform for the house's photovoltaic array.

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    Paul Hultberg Photography

    The steel structural frame allows an open interior for natural light and ventilation.

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    Paul Hultberg Photography

    The roof tops a continuous glazed clerestory.

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    Paul Hultberg Photography

    The kitchen cabinets are zero-VOC MDF made from recycled wood. Counters are recycled glass in a high-fly ash matrix.

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    Paul Hultberg Photography

    The dining area. Wood flooring throughout the house is locally salvaged heart pine.

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    Paul Hultberg Photography

    The master bedroom opens onto a large covered deck.

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    Courtesy Robert M. Cain

    Building sections showing heat, ventilation, and rainwater collection.

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    Bruce Damonte

    Grand Award - Custom Home / 3,000 to 5,000 Square Feet
    Laidley Street Residence, San Francisco
    Zack / de Vito Architecture, San Francisco

    Panelization as the primary construction method cuts down on construction waste, but that was just one aspect of the firm's environmental strategy. It employed green materials, such as blown-in cellulose insulation and sustainably harvested palmwood flooring, and the building produces much of its own energy through rooftop photovoltaic panels and solar hot water. The translucent central staircase distributes light throughout all three floors.

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    Bruce Damonte

    Postcard views of San Francisco serve as the living room's main decoration.

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    Bruce Damonte

    The stainless steel island refelcts the natural light deeper into the long, narrow foot print.

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    Bruce Damonte

    A skylight and oversized, commercial-style windows at either end of the top level also usher in natural illumination.

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    Timothy Hursley

    Grand Award - Custom Home / Less Than 3,000 Square Feet
    Strickland-Ferris Residence, Raleigh, N.C.
    Frank Harmon Architect, Raleigh

    According to the home's architect, Frank Harmon, lifting it up was the surest way to minimize disturbance to the steeply sloped site. A butterfly roof channels the flow of rainwater off the house. Deep overhangs work with the mature trees outside to shade the dramatic, glass-walled main living space.

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    Jeffrey Jacobs

    Deep overhangs work with the mature trees outside to shade the dramatic, glass-walled main living space.

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 chdesignawards.com