From hip urban dwellings to traditional custom beauties, green homes come in all shapes and sizes to please a range of buyers. Here are five that run the gamut when it comes to design.
Akta Linjen, Siloam Springs, Ark.
Builder: Upriver Construction Co., Overland Park, Kan.
Architect: Matthias J. Pearson, Siloam Springs
Size: 2,580 square feet
Cost: $128 per square foot (plus sweat equity)
The natural warmth of wood, large and plentiful windows, and simple rectilinear design give Akta Linjen its modern, light-filled character. The home—named “authentic lines” in Swedish—consists of two transverse bars, with the lower bar containing live/work activities and the upper holding the sleeping areas.
The design team sought to achieve LEED-Silver using relatively standard building practices, materials, and systems with a high level of quality and workmanship, according to architect Matt Pearson. Product selection was guided by strict standards for sustainability and healthy living, including vertical-grain bamboo flooring, paperless gypsum board, low-VOC paint, and PaperStone recycled paper countertops.
A tightly sealed building envelope and Ag-Tite hybrid corn-based closed-cell spray foam insulation helps keep the home energy efficient even during winter, with average monthly utility bills of about $138.
A big part of the home’s appeal comes from the way it interacts with the natural beauty of its site. Its location on top of a 20-foot grade change allows views from the surrounding countryside, and four wood decks encourage outdoor living. Positioned beneath nine mature deciduous trees, the house benefits from shade in the summer and solar gain in the winter.
Other sustainable features include:
--Advanced 22-inch o.c. framing, including two-stud corners, header clips to eliminate jack studs, and engineered floor joists
--OSB sheathing with housewrap
--Energy Star-rated Pella Proline aluminum-clad wood windows and doors
--A 3-ton air-source heat pump with ERV
--Within a short walk or bike ride to many retail amenities