Gallery: Geothermally-Heated Thomas Eco House in Washington State is Al...

The Thomas family in Washington State wanted an eco-home that would be as energy efficient and sustainable as possible, and that would require the barest amount of maintenance. That's exactly what Designs Northwest Architects gave them in this attractive four-storey home with a small footprint. Thanks to geothermal heating, thermal massing, cutting edge insulation technology and passive solar design, this project requires 44% less heat and 33% cooling than its competition. Unfortunately budget restraints kept the Thomases from purchasing solar panelling, but the house is wired for such a future investment. Albeit not the splashiest home, this daylit beauty gets major brownie points for its high sustainability standards.

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