written by:
November 5, 2013
Building green can be a challenge to really pull off—not to mention afford—but as the following seven houses from our pages show, the payback is huge.
Eric Garcetti's 11-year-old Toyota Rav4-EV sits in front of the house, awaiting its next electric fill-up.

Los Angeles is not all mini-malls and highways. As Mayor Eric Garcetti shows, it is eminently possible to live green in the City of Angels. By putting solar power and recycled materials to use, he and his partner transformed a mid-century house on a cozy hillside plot into a sustainable home with garden terraces and panoramic views. Garcetti's old Toyota Rav4-EV sits in front of the house, awaiting its next electric fill-up. Photo by Misha Gravenor. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Echo Logical
1 / 7
Clerestory window in a modern renovation near Sydney, Australia

For a renovation located in Glebe—an inner-city suburb of Sydney, Australia—Carterwilliamson Architects took an environmentally friendly tack. "We believe that ‘fit’ buildings, buildings that are not big, but ‘big enough’ and flexible enough to accommodate changing lifestyles and that minimize spatial, material, and energy wastage are one of the biggest contributions we as architects can make towards a more sustainable future," says firm principal Shaun Carter. To that end, they repurposed an existing structure, relying on passive heating and cooling principles and natural daylight to guide the project. Photo by Brett Boardman. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Renovated House in Australia
2 / 7
water-conscious cottage in Sydney, Australia

Mary Henning and Ann Wansbrough's renovation of a semidetached cottage in Sydney’s cramped beachside suburbia enables them to use 75 percent less town water than the average two-person home. Architect Steve Kennedy defied a small footprint and a terrible drought with a generous double-height extension and a cutting-edge custom-made water-filtration system. Photo by Richard Powers. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The First Wave
3 / 7

In the Sydney, Australia, neighborhood of Rozelle, architect Christopher Polly has renovated a house with green design in mind. By opening up the plan, adding floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls to the rear of the house, deftly organizing windows, and repurposing elements of the original structure, Polly has created a residence that's attuned to its environment. Windows allow light and air to enter the house, and Breezway Altair louvers abound, as does Viridian Comfort Plus low-e glass. Photo by Brett Boardman. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in An Airy Renovation in Sydney
4 / 7
The patio and the rest of the house are equally open to the outdoors.

A change of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, neighborhood for Rick and Susan Moreland meant a chance to create a thoroughly modern house that owes its sleek, sustainable form to its vernacular roots. The patio and the rest of the house are equally open to the outdoors. Photo by João Canziani. 

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
Joao Canziani
Originally appeared in Designed to Handle the Heat and More
5 / 7
When it’s time to eat or do homework, the adults lower the tabletop, revealing a dozen book cubbies.

Living small is par for the course in New York City, but accommodating a family of four in under 700 square feet rarely looks as effortless as in this storage-smart renovation. Between its small footprint and reuse of existing materials (such as the brick), it's an ideal green renovation. When it’s time to eat or do homework, the adults lower the tabletop, revealing a dozen book cubbies. Photo by Raimund Koch. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Storage-Smart Renovation in New York City
6 / 7
The Harris family rests easy on their new back patio abutting the Belvedere lagoon. The first order of business for this green remodel was to reconnect the house with its surroundings.

Sustainable consultant to the stars Jordan Harris convinces Hollywood starlets to go hybrid, but when it came to greening his own home, he enlisted outside help. The Harris family rests easy on their new back patio abutting the Belvedere lagoon. The first order of business for this green remodel was to reconnect the house with its surroundings. Inside, 95 percent of the timber (including ipe, redwood, Douglas fir, and eucalyptus) for the external and internal framework was either salvaged or sustainably harvested. Low-VOC paint coats the walls. Photo by Todd Hido. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Bellwether of Belvedere
7 / 7
Eric Garcetti's 11-year-old Toyota Rav4-EV sits in front of the house, awaiting its next electric fill-up.

Los Angeles is not all mini-malls and highways. As Mayor Eric Garcetti shows, it is eminently possible to live green in the City of Angels. By putting solar power and recycled materials to use, he and his partner transformed a mid-century house on a cozy hillside plot into a sustainable home with garden terraces and panoramic views. Garcetti's old Toyota Rav4-EV sits in front of the house, awaiting its next electric fill-up. Photo by Misha Gravenor. 

Photo by Misha Gravenor.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016