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March 2, 2015
Spy houses that celebrate their landscape, rooftop oases, drought-tolerant gardens, and more.
Seattle green home with energy efficient measures

This house located in Seattle was designed to allow the residents to survey the natural beauty the Pacific Northwest has to offer while maintaining privacy from neighbors. Moreover, the structure has a small environmental footprint. The architcture firm SHED built it using advanced framing, a technique that cuts down on the use of lumber by 30 percent. Another benefit of the method is that it prevents heat from escaping the home, making it more energy-efficient. Additionally, the architects installed a high-efficiency boiler that preheats water with rooftop solar panels; a heat recovery ventilation system that efficiently controls the climate; and a rainwater retention tank that conserves water.

Courtesy of 
Mark Woods
Originally appeared in Seattle Home Carefully Blocks Out Neighbors, While Celebrating Natural Surroundings
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Ipe Walkway and Steel Gate at Indian Summer house in Southern California

Architect Sean Lockyer designed a 5,760-square-foot concrete, stucco, and ipe home for a couple and their three children in the Southern California desert town of Indian Wells. “Our idea,” says Lockyer, “was to maximize the view and capture as much of the outdoor space, from property line to property line, as possible.”  He chose cast-in-place concrete and masonry along with steel, glass, and ipe (Brazilian walnut), an especially durable wood that can withstand the triple-digit heat of an Indian Wells summer, as his core materials. The deck slices through a yard planted with palms, fruit trees, acacias, desert grasses, yucca, and other drought-hardy species.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in One Canadian Family Beats the Cold by Escaping to the California Desert
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a man stands with towel on the pool deck of his Shelter Island vacation home

Landscape designer Vickie Cardaro used native grasses and plantings near the swimming pool of Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan's Shelter Island beach house. Cushions upholstered in Sunbrella fabric rest atop a Trex deck. The western red cedar ceiling extends through the deep eaves and covered seating area.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan's Shelter Island Vacation Home
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Wooden home with a green roof in Maine

Architect Will Winkelman and landscape architect Todd Richardson collaborated with a client, JT Bullitt, to design a house that blends into its surroundings in Steuben, Maine. The green roof gives the impression that “the ground just jumped onto the roof,” Richardson says.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Wooden Home Blends in with Maine Landscape
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a glass entryway in Boulder, Colorado

A glass awning adorns the facade of a house on Boulder, Colorado.

Courtesy of 
Daniel O'Connor
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modern sturgeon bay julie brogan wisconsin facade young and groove new growth cypress

Julie Brogan’s home overlooking Lake Michigan is clad in tongue-and-groove new-growth cypress. Vertical basswood slats follow the stairs to the second floor and into the master bedroom, extending outside to serve as the railing for a small balcony. Aside from the manicured courtyard, the rest of the landscape surrounding the house was left wild.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Lakeside Home Brings a Scandinavian Sensibility to the Midwest
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B&B Italia Outdoor’s Canasta sofa, by Patricia Urquiola, shares a shady patch in the ground-floor Carnegie Hill garden with three ginkgo biloba trees, an existing fountain with an Italian marble spout designed by Thomas Woltz, and bluestone pavers. The terrace is filled with woodland greenery: Leucothoe, ostrich ferns, and lady ferns.

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Seattle green home with energy efficient measures

This house located in Seattle was designed to allow the residents to survey the natural beauty the Pacific Northwest has to offer while maintaining privacy from neighbors. Moreover, the structure has a small environmental footprint. The architcture firm SHED built it using advanced framing, a technique that cuts down on the use of lumber by 30 percent. Another benefit of the method is that it prevents heat from escaping the home, making it more energy-efficient. Additionally, the architects installed a high-efficiency boiler that preheats water with rooftop solar panels; a heat recovery ventilation system that efficiently controls the climate; and a rainwater retention tank that conserves water.

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