You don’t need a fortune in specialty materials to build a space that is budget- and Earth-friendly. All it takes are thoughtful planning and savvy spending.
"We wanted the house to respond well to the landscape and the local environment," says Peter of their design. So he positioned the house on the site to work best with coastal breezes and the angle of the sun. In other words, he wanted to beat the heat. Buildings tend to absorb the most heat on the east and west sides, so he put porches on the east and dense vegetation on the west to reduce solar gain. "'Solar gain' is just a technical term for 'making your house hot," Peter quips. Meanwhile, ocean breezes from the southeast or cool northeast breezes hit the house on the long sides, passing through windows and French doors and cooling the interior. Because the narrow end of the house faces the driveway where guests arrive, a louvered door opening onto the loggia acts as the front door. The protected porch space allows the rooms to be opened to the outside with few weather worries.