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Green Appeal, Craftsman Feel

Testing an attainable approach to green practices, an architect designs his own home for a friendly fit in a historic district

When architect Michael McDonough found the building lot of his dreams in Asheville, N.C., he jumped at the chance to buy it. Located in a historic district, the lot was close to downtown and offered a friendly place for walking and biking. In designing a house for the lot, McDonough pressed himself to employ the beliefs about sustainability that he’d formed in the time since he’d been an architecture student. McDonough’s house includes a number of green features, such as broad, sheltering roof overhangs; the use of renewable materials; spray-foam insulation in the walls and roof; and solar panels for hot water and radiant heat. The house also has an efficient wood-burning fireplace that keeps the house warm in winter.


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