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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.