#1 – Heather’s Home
Image credit: Ferrier Companies
Where else but Texas would one look for a solar home unafraid of bigness? There we find Heather’s Home, a near-zero-energy, 2,000 square-foot home of very modern design. Built as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America program, the home is made from eco-friendly products and is known for its affordability (Heather was just a twenty-something looking to build sustainably on a budget). The home has three bedrooms, two and a half baths, kitchen, dining room, great room, office and lofts.
Heather’s House utilizes passive solar design to minimize heating and cooling costs, a solar hot water heater, tubular skylights and a translucent roof in the storage room for daylighting. Walls and roof were made from structural insulated panels (SIPs), CFL lighting, bamboo flooring, low-flow fixtures, Energy Star appliances*, native landscaping, eco-friendly paints and stains, recycled siding, carpet made from recycled plastic bottles, rainwater catchment, termite protection (very important in the region), permeable driveway, programmable thermostats* and more. Heather’s Home was the first LEED for Homes (LEED-H) Platinum home in Texas and the third nationwide, and has won numerous other green building awards.