Below are thumbnail photos, brief descriptions, and keywords for all the houses surveyed. To learn more about an individual house, click on [ More Info ] after its description. To view a full description of all the houses sequentially, click [ View All Houses ] at left. There are a few examples of “conceptual” houses; these are houses which have not been built, but are designed for the Valley, and offer interesting new possibilities for sustainable design—look for Conceptual in the keywords. We are planning a downloadable and searchable (Acrobat "pdf") copy of all the houses in this survey— please check back to see if the survey is available.
Earth-bermed, Whole house ventilation and heat exchanger, Solatube™

#1: An earth-bermed and stick framed house. 1575 Ft2 + garage. Finished in 2005. Uses a sophisticated air exchange system. Features a Solatube™ in master bathroom instead of a skylight.
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#1
Earth-bermed on flat site, Kitchen counter used as solar mass, Indoor clerestory

#2: An earth-bermed house built on a level site. 1920 Ft2 + garage. Finished in 2006. Has an interesting "kitchen counter" solar mass, indoor clerestory, and heavy insulation.
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#2
Conceptual, Straw Bale Hybrid, Recycled materials, Inexpensive

#3: An unusual load-bearing straw bale hybrid. Almost everything used to build the house is recycled, or obtained from natural, nearby sources. Owner/designer has developed a low cost SIP-like panel that he hopes to manufacture.
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#3
Conceptual, Water conservation and storage, Low visual and land impact

#4: A conceptual house of 1500Ft2, designed for the Valley by Peter Macapia. The house focuses on water conservation/storage, and fitting into the landscape with minimal impact. Its innovative form is partially constructed with off-the-shelf components.
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#4
Solar hot water, Grey water systems, Masonry Stove ("Russian Fireplace"), PV panels, Recycled materials

#5: A house of 1770Ft2, owner built. Uses many sustainable features, including a grey water sytem, PV system (being significantly expanded), innovative drying rack for the masonry fireplace, the use of water filled barrels as a heat storage mass, and insulated window shades. Great consideration of a house working with and minimizing its effect on the environment.
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#5
Earth-bermed, Passive solar, Good insulation

#6: An energy efficient, low maintenance 1300Ft2house. The house blends in well with the site. Due to good insulation, and passive solar orientation, the house has not been over 75˚ in summer, and uses only a small propane heater for back-up heating in winter. The garage floor is crushed rock; this minimizes the use of concrete, and lets water/snow drain away naturally. Nice rock work on side of the berm.
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#6
Cordwood, Off-grid, Tracking solar & wind 1600W

#7: An off-grid cordwood and stick-frame house. 3300Ft2. Large tracking PV array, and 400W wind turbine. PV system is being expanded to add a dedicate array for the well pump.
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#7
Rastra, Earth-bermed, Passive solar, Green roof (partial)

#8: A 4100 Ft2 rastra block and stick-frame, earth-bermed house that works well with the environment. Used recycled timbers. Passive solar and radient heating (solar hot water is planned). Cork and Marmoleum™ used for floor coverings in some rooms.
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#8
Pre-engineered Panelized Wood Frame, Radiant heating, Radiant barrier, Paperstone™ counters

#9: A 2300 FT2 panelized frame (a form of partial prefabrication) which greatly minimizes wood waste, and increases construction speed.The house uses radiant heating, along with a radiant heat barrier in the attic to reduce heat loss from within the house to the outside (this also produces a "cold roof" in winter, which helps prevent ice dams), and minimizes heat gain through the roof in summer. Paperstone™ counters.
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#9
Earthship (tires filled with rammed earth), Passive solar, Integral green house-like planters

#10: This house is the first permitted "Earthship" (packed earth-filled tires) in the state. It's 2400 FT2 with large integral planters which give a green house-like feel, Lovely detailing and great tile and stucco work.
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#10
Strawbale two story (infill), Recycled/salvaged materials, Masonry Stove ("Russian Fireplace")

#11: A 1900 FT2 meticulousy crafted straw bale house. Most of the wood and fixtures are recycled. A masonry stove is the primary heating source; the stove also preheats the hot water. A lovely patio of recycled garden pavers.
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#11
Hybrid strawbale-tire-stick frame, Off-grid PV system, Locally grown and milled timber, Recycled/salvaged windows

#12: An excellent example of a 1650 FT2 off-grid house that uses several sustainable methods in its constuction: "Earthship" (packed earth-filled tires), and strawbale walls. A 720W PV system for the house, and a separate smaller system for the well pump. Beautiful timber framing using locally grown and milled logs.
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#12
Strawbale, Radiant Heating, Insulated Shades

#13: A 1900 FT2 passive solar, strawbale infill house, designed for energy efficiency. Floor slab is insulated from stem wall. Innovative insulated shades.
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#13
Earth-bermed, High mass passive solar, Super Insulated, Masonry fireplace, Grid-tied PV

#14: A 1966 FT2 high mass passive solar design that uses advanced framing, and super insulation. It has a masonry fireplace, and a passively heated earth mass beneath upper level floor (PAHS). 1600W Grid-tied PV system. Dual pane low-e windows. Greenhouse/room adds light and heat to lower level. The house blends nicely into a hillside which is planted with native grasses and flowers.
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#14
Earth-bermed, Passive solar, Extensive use of recycled/re-purposed materials

#15: A 1500 FT2 passive solar house that uses advanced framing. Green roof with garden. Radiant heating. This house is an excellent example of using re-purposed/recycled materials. The site is 90–95% planted with native plantings.
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#15
Earth-bermed, Passive solar, Green roof, Recycled lumber

#16: A 1640 FT2 passive solar, earth-bermed house. Green roof blends into hillside. Radiant heating. Extensive use of recycled lumber, including glulam and solid beams. Concrete for the berm and floor are colored a soft gray. Large garden and root celar.
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#16
Yurt (wood framed), Solar hot water, PV system, On-site milled wood, Group ownership of land

#17: A 730 FT2 wood framed yurt plus 100 FT2 porch. Has evacuated tube solar hot water. Small PV array for well pump with an innovative manual tracking system. Took only four months to construct. Some wood from local forest which was milled on site. Use of recycled materials.
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#17
Earth-sheltered, wood burning furnace/fireplace, exterior shades

#18: A 2514 FT2 earth-sheltered/earth-bermed house that blends into a hillside. Passive solar orientation.It uses a Ruegg™ firelace/wood burning furnace for heating. Innovative exterior shade restraint system.
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#18
Earth-bermed, Solar hot water, High-heat gain low-e windows, Recycled materials, Formaldehyde-free insulation

#19: A 1524 FT2 earth-bermed house with passive solar orientation. Uses a "Copper Cricket" solar hot water system. Owner paid special attention to the proper quantity, and quality of glazing (Low-E). Finishes are low VOC. Used recycled gym flooring in the kitchen. Interior glass brick wall for supplementary lighting. Less than one cord of wood per year is used for heating.
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#19