Sante Fe green building firm, Solarsmith, offers eco-friendly housing solutions that don’t sacrifice comfort or style. A fine example is the Barr residence in New Mexico, which was recently featured in Natural Home magazine. The exterior of the house makes good use of xeriscaping by using low-maintenance native plants that require little water while blending beautifully into the surrounding desert landscape.
Solarsmith owner, Mitchell Smith, is a proponent of “thermal envelope” construction of exterior walls that are double framed with a 2-inch layer of closed cell insulation foam outside. He says this practice “…repels heat and cold outside the house and maintains a comfortable temperature inside.” Selective harvesting is the operative phrase for the wood used in the home. The walls are composed of standing dead spruce trees, windows are made of pine from managed local forests and the cherry wood flooring is FSC-certified.
And the Barr’s share their eco-friendly housing success with the neighbors; their grid-tied solar system not only helps heat water for the radiant floors, exercise pool and appliances, it also feeds surplus energy to neighboring homes.
Other green goodies include a 10,000-gallon cistern to collect water runoff from the roof and distribute it to the landscaping, a subterranean reclaimed water system for irrigation, natural gypsum plastered walls and energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting. Contact Solarsmith for more information.
Photography by Daniel NadelbachPosted by Debra Emmons on July 15, 2008 11:25 PM
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